Picking on Costumed Heroes: The Watchmen Portraits

Yesterday, Empire Online released exclusive portraits from Watchmen (tread carefully, those who fear minor spoilers). As with every promotional release from the studio, these photos prove two things: firstly, that the movie is being made with obsessive care to spirit of the graphic novel; and secondly, that the filmmakers are working from a vision that is uniquely their own. It is a necessary but dangerous dichotomy; even I am afraid to praise appearances too highly until I’ve had the chance to see the movie and shake my fist furiously at the changes I don’t like.

Sometimes, those two principles exist in harmony and you get Rorschach, whose costume is so perfect he looks almost disconcertingly like an illustration out of the novel, from the curve of his coat collar to his hat band.

Sometimes, those two principles diverge, and Nite Owl ends up covered in submarine hull and mesh, peering out of the frame like George Clooney’s Batman on a steampunk bender.

I won’t talk smack about Matthew Goode as Veidt, since I have more faith in Goode’s acting than I do in his jawline, and I feel like he’ll be able to pull it off at the last second. (Don’t make a liar out of me, Goode.) However, am I the only one who has growing concerns about Billy Crudup? Considering that Jeffrey Dean Morgan seems poised to turn in the most compelling, sandpaper-abrasive performance of the film, Dr. Manhattan will have to work just to hold his own. On the other hand, a certain stiff distance is necessary for the role; maybe Crudup will, to some degree, simply be playing himself?

No matter how it turns out, though, these pictures prove Crudup didn’t have the worst of it: at least he’s not in thigh-high PVC garters, which is more than some of them can say. Ackerman, I’m looking at you.

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