A ‘Watchmen’ Primer, For Nerds And Newbies

Meet the heroes you'll soon see on the big screen.

BEVERLY HILLS, California — For more than two years , we’ve been obsessively following the “Watchmen” movie — and that’s only the time since director Zack Snyder came onboard.

From the secrets in the film’s advertising campaign to Zack’s difficult decisions on what had to be added and subtracted from Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel to the Easter eggs in the movie and the secrets of the “Watchmen” universe , we’ve tracked it all.

But now that “Watchmen” is going mainstream, we have to remember that not everyone has memorized every word of the graphic novel. So, taking both the nerds and the newbies into consideration, here’s our official MTV News primer on the “heroes” that you’ll soon see thrill, chill and (in some cases) kill on the big screen.

Nite Owl

Based On: Blue Beetle

You’ll Be Reminded Of: Batman

“I wanted to wear the black T-shirt at the end,” Patrick Wilson remembered of Dan Dreiberg, a retired, paunchy hero who feels inadequate in many ways and spends most of the film sulking in his apartment — until a fling with Silk Spectre returns his manhood. “The only time we see Dan in short sleeves is after they have sex; all of a sudden, he’s got his pants up high, and he’s feeling good!”

Doctor Manhattan

Based On: Captain Atom

You’ll Be Reminded Of: Superman, the Silver Surfer, Atom, maybe some Apache Chief?

“I am naked often, but I was not naked — that I recall — during filming,” grinned Billy Crudup, discussing the groundbreaking techniques that allowed him to portray Jon Osterman, a brilliant scientist who becomes God-like after a horrible accident gives him immeasurable power. “I wore pretty elaborate pajamas that were studded with about 1,200 blue LEDs, so that Manhattan would glow blue. There was also motion-capture symbols on them, and I had 140 dots on my face — and all those things corresponded to points on the computer Dr. Manhattan. My performance was basically manipulating that puppet.”

Rorschach

Based On: The Question, Mr. A

You’ll Be Reminded Of: The Question from TV’s “Justice League Unlimited”

“If Rorschach were real, every bank CEO and every member of Congress would have a broken finger,” laughed Jackie Earle Haley, who plays the mentally deranged, morally upright hero and claims Walter Kovacs wouldn’t be pleased with the unscrupulous circumstances behind our present economy. Joking, he added: “[Rorschach] is warm, fuzzy, lovable and likable — so I had to play him.”

Silk Spectre

Based On: Black Canary, Phantom Lady

You’ll Be Reminded Of: Every sexy, scantily clad super-vixen in the history of comics, from Wonder Woman to Catwoman to Elektra

“She’s one of the boys,” the beautiful Malin Akerman said of Laurie Juspeczyk, who follows in the footsteps of her mother (Carla Gugino) by taking on the “Silk Spectre” name and dressing in a sleek, sexy superhero outfit. “But she doesn’t lead with her sexuality, for me. This is a story of her coming of age.”

Ozymandias

Based On: Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt

You’ll Be Reminded Of: Mr. Fantastic, Beast, Mr. Terrific, merchandising-happy “Frisky Dingo” hero Xander Crews

“It’s a good one to have,” Matthew Goode said of Adrian Veidt’s superpower: He’s the smartest man alive. “But it’s not a great comparison between us, really. I’m not that intelligent.”

The Comedian

Based On: Peacemaker, Nick Fury

You’ll Be Reminded Of: The Punisher

“I really wanted to get away from that nice-guy deal,” Jeffrey Dean Morgan told us of why he took on the complicated character, going beyond his “Grey’s Anatomy” heartthrob to play a cigar-chomping mercenary for hire who has also been known to rape, murder and maim — yet still considers himself a hero. “[I wanted to see] if there was a human living within this monster of a man.”

Want more “Watchmen”? Check out our in-depth look at the original characters that inspired “Watchmen.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Watchmen.”

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