Who Watches The Watchmen Costumes?

Rorschach still from Watchmen
Late to the party as ever, a few comments on the first images from Watchmen the film. There have been many comments (my favourite reaction was Kevin’s [EDIT: link no longer exists], the most thoughtful from Mike) about promotional images for a film that is still over a year away.

The aspect I think that has been missed is that the characters were never going to reflect the book – ever since the cast was announced, it was apparent that the filmmakers were going young, something which was always going to affect the costume designs (digression: John Cassaday and Adam Hughes were brought in to update the designs).

These actors aren’t going to be aged or fattened up, so the premise of the story is going to be skewed in its timeline: the original characters had a distance in years from their crime-fighting careers, which themselves were not short, giving an extra dimension to their adventures when they have been retired by the Keene Act. The characters in these images are far too young; they look as if they have undergone nothing more intense than puberty.

The film is never going to be the book and to expect otherwise is rather naïve. I love the book – I reread it again recently, just because I enjoy doing so every year or so, still finding new things to admire and wanting to get to the end – but I know that the film will be a different beast, solely interested in the plot but using the surface attributes to dress it up. So, yes, the costumes look odd and they look like they’ve missed the point (the Comedian and Rorshach are the exceptions) but then the whole film will look odd, and we should get used to it. Nonetheless, I’ll still be there on opening weekend, regardless of the cosmetic changes necessary to get one of my favourite comic books on the silver screen.

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