HBO’s new ‘Watchmen’ trailer is dark, moody, stylish perfection

Andy Meek

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“People who wear masks are driven by trauma …”

That’s the opening line we hear in HBO’s fantastic new trailer for Watchmen that’s got us even more excited for the arrival of the series on Oct. 20. It’s uttered by Jean Smart, who portrays the Silk Spectre, and she directs it at Regina King, the actress who plays a cop named Angela Abraham. “They’re obsessed with justice,” Jean Smart’s character continues, “because of some injustice they suffered,” as Regina’s character — who wears a superhero-style mask to hunt down terrorists — listens intently.

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In terms of what we already knew about this series (adapted from the graphic novel by Damon Lindelof, who was also a co-creator of ABC’s Lost), it will be set in a time after the original comic ended. Per HBO’s official synopsis: “Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, while attempting to break new ground of its own.”

The narrative path this series will tread plays with superhero tropes in a similar way as does Amazon’s new series The Boys, about a gang of superheroes who abuse their powers instead of using them for good as we see so often in superhero tales. Similarly, instead of a mostly-positive superhero saga of masked vigilantes fighting crime and making the world safer, Watchmen will show us the darker side of masked heroes being unleashed on the populace.

There are so many reasons to be excited for Watchmen, with this new trailer being the latest. Lindelof, you’ll recall, was also a co-creator of HBO’s The Leftovers — a series with diehards who will swear to you it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen on TV. Watchmen, meanwhile, features a stellar cast lineup that also includes Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Louis Gossett Jr., Frances Fisher, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Christie Amery.

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