I know people who have watched the Watchmen trailer over 100 times since it was released last week.  I’ve also seen people bicker back and forth over the shots seen, and how close of an adaptation Zack Snyder will bring to the big screen.

To help in your decision making, Major Spoilers has gone through the trailer and compared shots from the movie with shots from the graphic novel.  Take the jump to see the comparison for yourself.

UPDATE: Looks like Empire Online beat me to the punch by a couple of hours on this story.  I honestly didn’t realize it until just a few minutes ago when submitting the story to DIGG.  That’s what I get for sleeping last night.

There are a couple of things that are instantly going to jump out. First the aspect ratio of the film and graphic novel are completely different.  Dave Gibbons favors the vertical aspect ratio throughout the book, while Snyder is forced into the horizontal aspect ratio of film.

The second thing that needs to be taken into account is that while Major Spoilers took great care in tracking down the actual panels referenced in the trailer, the shots themselves could be taken completely out of context from the original story panels, we won’t know until March 03, 2009.

Finally, we are presenting this information here for comparison and educational purposes.  In no way are we infringing on Warner Bros. or DC from selling the movie or trades of the Watchmen property – if anything, we are in total support of the film, and can’t wait to spend our money on movie tickets and the upcoming Absolute Watchmen edition.

Also, to make Alan Moore happy, we’ve deleted the text from the panels (also removes any potential spoilers).

After doing this little bit of research, I’m more excited about this film, as it looks like a pretty good visual adaptation to me.




















This was the only scene from the graphic novel that I could find that remotely matched up to the movie trailer.  If the three-way scene isn’t included in the movie, well poo-poo.






















About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Well Alan Moore not liking an comic book adaptations… real fuddy duddly. This “looks” really good, we’ll see if it stands up in the substance department in 2009. At least I’m really liking the style and look. Looks like they are staying true to the source material… that is a start.

  2. i can’t take it anymore, i watch the trailer when i wakre up, when a get back from work, when i go to sleep and everytime i can in-between.

    Mr. Schleicher, i think you did a great job, and i’m pretty sure you’re dead on with all of them, except maybe the close-up of Rorschach.

    the song add a lot to the trailer too.

  3. I know people who have watched the Watchmen trailer over 100 times since it was released last week.

    Then, honestly, you know people who have way too much time on their hands …

    I mean, I get that people are excited to see this movie (I’m not among those people), but seriously. You watch the trailer a hundred times and you’ve probably spent more of your life watching that than you will actually spend watching the movie itself.

  4. I don’t know if anyone has talked about this online yet, but the Smashing Pumpkins song from the trailer is “The End is the Beginning Is The End” which was originally written for appeared on the Batman and Robin soundtrack. I’m guessing this was intentional, as pretty much everyone’s opinion of that Schumacher mess is low. And it plays into the whole idea (at least from the Wacthmen perspective) that superheroes and their genre are a joke.

  5. Ah, it has been mentioned online:

    That person didn’t get the irony though. And I think most casual audience members didn’t get it. And that worries me about the film. I don’t know if the casual superhero-watching movie crowd will “get” this film. In my opinion, the deconstruction of the genre has to happen in the first 10 minutes of the film, otherwise all will be lost and the movie will be poorly reviewed.

  6. Len: Good catch on both. If you’ve seen the individual shots of the characters from the film, Ozymandias has “bat nipples” on his uniform, which have made quite a few people angry, but as Zack has said, “people don’t get it” either. It’s just like the use of the song.

    Oh, and great podcast btw.

  7. Wow nice job with the links! I have to dig around and see if I still have Watchmen in my boxes of old comics so I can read it again. The movie shots look hot!

  8. Good comparions, I got the feeling that they didn’t want to show Dr. Manhattan too much. Like they may actually have him be anatomically correct, mabye not though.

  9. Actually, If I’m not mistaken, they were wondering just what do about Jon’s birthday suit. And I think that’s why we are getting this ephemeral look. Although we still didn’t get a good look, Did we?

  10. so what if it’s the same song from an old crappy batman flick. the song is remixed to death and does not have the same feeling at all.

    pleople are complaining for nothing. damn internet, makes you complain because you can.

  11. Steve, the scene with 3 Dr. Manhattans from the movie clip is semi-accurate. In the comic, he tries to please her by being two people, she freaks and the two become one. She then opens a door to find a 3rd, who has been working in the lap while she and the other two were in the bedroom. There are three in the comic, just not all in-frame at the same time.

  12. The Smashing Pumpkins song is actually ‘The Beginning Is The End Of The Beginning’, which was used on the ‘Batman & Robin’ soundtrack. Methinks Mr. Snyder is having a laugh with the fanboys here, just as he is when he swaps the assassin’s gun for a walkie-talkie in the Ozymandius scene.
    What, you mean you watched this a hundred times and missed that gag?

  13. I don’t think a close match shot for panel is an all good thing. If all the Watchmen movie is, like Sin City and 300, an exhibition of modern technical abilities to reproduce a comic as moving pictures then it isn’t going to be a good movie. Pretty, but not good.

    The needs of movies differ from comics and comic pacing and dialogue do not naturally fit with them.

    The trailer is spectacular but it doesn’t show us if the movie has a good script, well adapted, from the comic.

  14. I agree with Fentex. 300 was a pretty movie to look at, but the story completely strayed from the tone of the comic (monsters and rock songs in a historical epic? come on). Turning Watchmen (the quintessential graphic novel IMO) into a movie would be like turning The Godfather into a comic. It just wouldn’t be as good as the original.

    – Lex

  15. Yeah, I’m worried it’s going to be like 300 too. You shouldn’t do that to Watchmen. However there’s something missing in the style. I’m hoping they work more on preserving the premise and the style of the story. I could care less if every scene is in it or they pull off every complex scene from the story.

    But, I don’t mind if it goes over the mainstream’s collective heads either, as long as it keeps tearing down the genre throughout, not just bit here and there. Hell, the comic went over peoples heads.

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