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‘Watchmen’ Animated Movie Casts Rhys, Sackhoff, Welliver, and More

Watchmen Animated Feature

Rorschach is back on the case.

Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”), Katee Sackhoff (“The Mandalorian”), Titus Welliver (“Lost”), Michael Cerveris (“The Gilded Age”) and Troy Baker (“The Last of Us”) are among the voice actors cast in “Watchmen Chapter I,” the new animated feature adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel. Announced at San Diego Comic-Con in 2023, the cast and filmmakers were revealed when the official trailer premiered on Wednesday. Directed by Warner Bros. Animation veteran Brandon Vietti and adapted by comic J. Michael Straczynski, this two-part film seeks to bring the iconic graphic novel to life in a new format.

Set in an alternate reality where costumed vigilantes are real, “Watchmen” has been hailed as a masterpiece since its debut in 1986, challenging the nature and morality of superhero storytelling. In this new animated adaptation, Rhys voices Dan Dreiberg (aka Nite Owl), Sackhoff voices Laurie Juspeczyk (aka Silk Spectre), Welliver voices Walter Kovacs (aka Rorschach), Baker voices Adrian Veidt (aka Ozymandias), and Ceveris voices Jonathan Osterman (aka Dr. Manhattan).

For decades, the complex, century-spanning storyline of “Watchmen” has proved challenging to adapt, with several filmmakers including Terry Gilliam, Darren Aronofsky, and Paul Greengrass trying and failing. However, in 2009, Warner Bros. released a live-action adaptation directed by Zack Snyder. Featuring stars such as Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, and Jackie Earle Haley, the film sought to recreate Gibbons’ artwork down to the smallest detail. Though it received mixed-to-positive reviews, it earned $185.3 million worldwide. Notably, the 2019 HBO limited series “Watchmen,” which takes place 34 years after the events of the graphic novel, was critically acclaimed and won several Emmy awards, including for best limited series.

Vietti’s and Straczynski’s approach to the new animated feature comes with a deep respect for the original material. Gibbons served as a consulting producer, and Straczynski mentioned on social media that his adaptation aims to configure the structure to work in a movie, without changing the essence of the source material, referring to it as “pure Moore.”

The rest of the voice cast for the animated film includes Rick D. Wasserman as Edward Blake (aka The Comedian), Adrienne Barbeau as Sally Jupiter (aka the first Silk Spectre), Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Jacobi (aka Moloch), Geoff Pierson as Hollis Mason (aka the first Nite Owl), Corey Burton as Captain Metropolis, John Marshall Jones as Hooded Justice, Yuri Lowenthal as Wally Weaver, and Kari Wahlgren as Janey Slater.

Grey DeLisle, Kelly Hu, Max Koch, Phil LaMarr, Dwight Schultz, and Jason Spisak are also voicing unspecified roles. Vietti, Jim Krieg, and Cindy Rago are producers for the project, with Sam Register, Larry Gordon, and Lloyd Levin as executive producers.

“Watchmen Chapter I” is set to debut on August 13 for digital purchase, and on August 27 on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. “Watchmen Chapter II” will follow with a release in late 2024.

Here is the first trailer.

Source: Variety.