From a fresh-from-the-inbox press release:
Playing the film's core group of â€œmasks,â€ the masked adventurers at the center of the story, are Malin Akerman (upcoming The Heartbreak Kid) as Laurie Juspeczyk, aka Silk Spectre; Billy Crudup (The Good Shepherd) as Jon Osterman, aka Dr. Manhattan; Matthew Goode (Match Point) as Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias; Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) as Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach; Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV's Grey's Anatomy) as Edward Blake, aka the Comedian; and Patrick Wilson (Little Children) as Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl.
OK, well, THAT's a movie cast (albeit one full of only boys men). But â€” confession time! â€” I've actually not yet read Watchmen, though I'm well aware of its place of importance in comics-land. So what the hell is it about? More from the PR:
A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the â€œDoomsday Clockâ€ â€“ which charts the USA's tension with the Soviet Union â€“ is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion â€“ a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers â€“ Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanityâ€¦but who is watching the watchmen?
Alan Moore is pretty much awesome. Who's Alan Moore, you ask? Oh, just the guy who wrote Watchmen. It seems strange that Moore's name doesn't appear anywhere in this release, but he's distanced himself from adaptations of his work before, and for various reasons. ("The only thing that was important to me was that I completely sever my connections with Hollywood," Moore said in an interview with The Onion A.V. Club last year.)
I've read enough about the various adaptations of Moore's work to kind of understand why he's taken this stance, but it still seems a little depressing. I find it somewhat hard to want to give a film a fair shake when the author on whose work it's based doesn't want a thing to do with it (check the imdb.com listing for V for Vendetta and you won't see Moore listed there either).
(Also, while I'm talking about comics: Go read Warren Ellis' Global Frequency; I read the first collection of issues, Planet Ablaze, over lunch, and it's swift and smart and you might almost find yourself wishing you were on the frequency. And if you haven't read Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, your life isn't complete. Not that I could sum it up for you if I tried...)