Director Zack Snyder specifically chose some of the Watchmen movie cast specifically because they weren't well known actors.
The film Watchmen is based on the comic book bearing the same name. In the film, a group of superheroes, known as "The Minutemen" performed various acts that changed the course of history. Eventually, the public turned on "The Minutemen" and no longer supported the group of superheroes. Over time, all but three of the original Minutemen were murdered.
As the decades passed, a new group of superheroes formed, naming themselves "The Watchmen", which included:
- Nite Owl II
- Silk Spectre II
- Dr. Manhattan
- The Comedian
Watchmen Movie Cast
Though there were plenty of actors interested in playing certain parts in the film, Zack Snyder did not automatically chose the Watchmen move cast actors based on their box office draw. In fact, the most well known actor in the film is arguably Billy Crudup, whose image remains skewed because of his role as Dr. Manhattan. Here's the cast breakdown:
The role of Walter Kovacs, better known as Rorschach in the film, is played by actor Jackie E. Haley. Haley was a huge fan of the Watchmen comic book series and actively pursued the role of Rorschach. Other films to Haley's credit include:
- Little Children
- All the Kings Men
- Breaking Away
Haley is set to play Freddy Krueger in the latest studio release of the film series A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Nite Owl II
The character Daniel Drieberg, also know as Nite Owl II is played by actor Patrick Wilson. Wilson and fellow Watchmen cast member Jackie E. Haley had previously worked together in the award winning film Little Children. In order to play the role, Wilson had to gain 25 pounds. Patrick Wilson is also active in Broadway theater and has performed several songs on various CD's including:
- Dreamgirls in Concert
- Phantom of the Opera
- Bright Lights, Big City
Silk Spectre II
Swedish actress Malin Ackerman was ultimately chose for the role of Laurie Juspeczyk, otherwise known as Silk Spectre II. Ackerman was chosen over both Jessica Alba and Milla Jovovich, who were both early considerations for the role. Ackerman has had roles in other films, including:
- The Proposal
- Couples Retreat
- The Heartbreak Kid
- 27 Dresses
Played by actor Billy Crudup, Dr. Manhattan, known as Jon Osterman in the regular world, is blue skinned as a result of a government experiment gone terribly wrong. In the film, Dr. Manhattan's nude body is actually portrayed by model Greg Plitt and not Billy Crudup. The facial features are Crudup's along with the voice. Billy Crudup has starred in a number of films over his career, including:
- Public Enemies
- Big Fish
- Mission Impossible: III
Keanu Reeves reportedly pursued the role of Dr. Manhattan, but quit vying for it after multiple production delays due to budgetary disagreements by the studio.
Adrian Veidt, once known as the superhero Ozymandias, is played by actor Matthew Goode. Goode was not director Zack Snyder's first choice. Although he passed on actors like Jessica Alba and Milla Jovovich because of their well known names, Snyder reportedly wanted Tom Cruise for the role of Adrian Veidt, despite his well known name. Actors Jude Law and Lee Pace were also considered for the role.
For actor Jeffery Dean Morgan, the role of "The Comedian" (also known as Edward Blake) in the Watchmen movie cast is considerably different from his roles as Denny Duquette in Grey's Anatomy and William Gallagher in P.S. I Love You.
Originally, film executives wanted Hell Boy actor Ron Perlman to play the role of "The Comedian." Not only that, but Jeffery Dean Morgan turned down the role at first because he noticed his character was killed off within the first few pages of the script. Morgan reconsidered after his agent urged him to keep reading the script and after doing so, Morgan realized how "The Comedian" was an integral role in the film.
Though it has received mixed reviews, The Watchmen has earned to date an estimated $185 million at the box office. That isn't a bad take for a film that many in the industry, including award-winning director Terry Gilliam, thought to be "unfilmable".