Five Secrets Of The 'Watchmen' Universe

We let you in on Hooded Justice's near omission, how the Comedian's smiley face came to be and much more.

BEVERLY HILLS, California -- By now, you know that

"Watchmen" is finally coming this week to a theater near you after [article id="1592568"]three decades of struggle[/article]. You know that "300" director Zack Snyder made some [article id="1605765"]very difficult choices[/article] while adapting Alan Moore's classic graphic novel. You even know the [article id="1606068"]Easter eggs[/article] hidden throughout the film.

But the world of "Watchmen" is filled with mystery -- and even Ozymandias, the world's smartest man, doesn't know everything. So keep reading, as MTV News unveils five secrets of the "Watchmen" universe:

Justice for the Hooded One

Although he's a relatively small character, Hooded Justice is a fan favorite for three reasons: He stops Sally Jupiter's rape, he's quite possibly gay and he wears the goofiest-looking costume in the graphic novel. When [article id="1599400"]we visited the set[/article], however, notes on the walls of Zack Snyder's "War Room" listed the character as "omitted." Snyder briefly considered leaving Justice out and using another character to come to Jupiter's rescue, but thankfully changed his mind.

Look Into My Eyes

In "Watchmen," Rorschach is covered by his ink-blotting mask. In real life, however, Jackie Earle Haley and the effects team knew that his eyes needed to be exposed in order to fully capture the performance. "When we were shooting it, I had a blank sock thing over my head; it was formed like what you see, but my eyes were open," Haley said of his mask's eyeholes, which were then covered up with CGI and augmented by the constantly moving blots that often reflect Rorschach's mood. "The computer animation guys could see what was going on [in my eyes] emotionally, in case that might affect the blots."

Dressed for Success

"The Comedian, we knew he had to be a government operative, so the early drafts had him in camouflage," Dave Gibbons, the beloved illustrator of the graphic novel, told us recently about his early drawings. "But the problem with camouflage is that -- as it's designed to -- it blends into the background and looks drab. So I came up with the black leather look."

Three Guys Walk Into a Movie

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: Burt Reynolds, Robert De Niro and a Watergate burglar walk into a bar ... and out come two of the Watchmen? "I certainly used the source material as my sole thing to build off," Jeffrey Dean Morgan said of the Comedian, a character originally envisioned as a cross between G. Gordon Liddy and a certain "Smokey and the Bandit" star. "You know, Alan Moore's first choice to be the Comedian ... was Burt Reynolds. But I never saw myself as Burt Reynolds; I saw myself as Edward Blake." Rorschach, meanwhile, was influenced by De Niro's iconic "Taxi Driver" character Travis Bickle. "I spent hours on end in my dressing room," Jackie Earle Haley joked of his preparation. "I'd put the sock over my head and look in the mirror and go, 'Are you talking to me?' "

Alan Moore's Smiley Face

Although "Watchmen" now seems unimaginable without it, Gibbons admits that he stumbled on the franchise's symbol. "I thought the Comedian was too ominous, so I thought, 'I know, I'll give him one of those little '60s smiley badges,' " he remembered. "I dropped it in as a little detail. But Alan saw it and said, 'Yeah, that's how we can symbolize the death of the Comedian!' So we put it in the gutter with blood on it, and then we realized that was symbolic of the whole series: It was a basic cartoon, with a splash of reality."

Check out everything we've got on "Watchmen."

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