Watching the “Watchmen” Trailer A Little Too Closely


The actual movie’s not due for another seven and a half months, but the trailer for Watchmen is out. (Watch it after the jump.) Which means I and other fans of the graphic-novel masterpiece that the movie’s based on can get some answers to our nagging questions. Obvious questions like, Can a two-hour movie capture author Alan Moore’s brilliantly constructed storyline and artist Dave Gibbons’ impeccable yet pulpy atmospherics?

But beyond learning whether director Zack Snyder (300) has delivered a CGI-bloated mess, here’s the practical if prurient question that’s been lodged in my brain since adolescence, when talk of a Watchmen flick first surfaced: How will the movie portray Doctor Manhattan, the Smurf-blue, radioactive superman who likes to walk around with his, uh, nuclear facilities out in the open?

I’m kind of serious. Doc Manhattan is, I believe, the first comic-book crime fighter to forgo the pretense of wearing a skimpy, skin-tight costume to let it all hang out. Nudism actually makes a lot of sense for shape-changers: No one’s ever explained why, when the Hulk rips out of his civvies, his normal-sized pants become a pair of cut-offs. (Ang Lee tried to get around this by dressing him in spandex shorts.) If I recall, Manhattan’s reasons for going au supernaturel have more to do with physics than physicality (something about the laws of the universe not distinguishing between the atoms in clothes and skin or somesuch). Anyway, it all presents a challenge for the frontal-male-nudity-phobic Hollywood and the moviegoing public. Yet the Watchmen trailer has snagged an “All Audiences” rating even though it briefly, if blurrily, shows Doc Manhattan in all his sky-blue glory. Check it out:

I know: naked blue dude or not, that made absolutely no sense to 99 percent of the population. Which comes back to the question of whether Watchmen will be an unwatchable mess. I have to say the trailer looks visually faithful to the original, which is a good sign. And as for that Billy Corgan song…God help us all, indeed.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.