Watchmen Theory: Ozymandias Is Trying To Make Another Doctor Manhattan

Watchmen Ozymandias Doctor Manhattan

The plot of HBO's Watchmen TV series is still shrouded in secrecy, but what we've seen so far suggests that Jeremy Irons' Ozymandias could be trying to create a new Doctor Manhattan. Created by Damon Lindelof (Lost), the show takes place around thirty years after the end of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' original graphic novel, in a modern-day Tulsa, Oklahoma that looks rather different from the one in our own timeline.

Doctor Manhattan was born Jonathan Osterman and later became Dr. Jonathan Osterman - a nuclear physicist who was vaporized after accidentally shutting himself inside an intrinsic field subtractor. Though at first presumed dead, he later began to manifest sporadically as a series of disturbing blue apparitions, before finally succeeding in creating himself a new body. Doctor Manhattan was effectively a walking, talking, thinking weapon of mass destruction, capable of reducing matter down to its atoms and rebuilding it in new forms. The American government wasted no time in putting him to use, sending him to Vietnam to put an end to the war within three months, and employing him in the Cold War strategy of mutually assured destruction.

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At the end of Watchmen, after Ozymandias carries out his horrifying plan to transform and transcend the world (teleporting an enormous mutated squid into the middle of New York City to create the illusion of an alien invasion), Doctor Manhattan decides to leave Earth and explore the rest of the universe. With HBO's Watchmen setting up Ozymandias to return as the villain, it seems perhaps inevitably that Adrian Veidt will want to get his hands on another weapon like Doctor Manhattan - or perhaps even turn himself into one.

Jeremy Irons Is Playing An Older Ozymandias

Jeremy Irons in Assassins Creed

Adrian Veidt a.k.a. Ozymandias is the only character from the original Watchmen story who is confirmed to be returning for HBO's Watchmen (so far), and he will be played by veteran villain actor Jeremy Irons. In a lengthy open letter regarding his intentions for the series, Damon Lindelof said that everything that happened in the graphic novel is canon in the TV series - including Rorschach and the Comedian dying, and Doctor Manhattan leaving Earth - and that the TV show will not "retread" what happened in the original story nor be a straightforward sequel. So, don't expect to see too many familiar faces dropping by.

That being said, Lindelof's letter said that, "We also intend to revisit the past century through a surprising, yet familiar set of eyes... and it is here where we'll be taking our greatest risks." That (like much in the letter) is vague, but the "surprising, yet familiar" eyes could be Ozymandias, and this time around we could get to see the story play out more from his perspective. This wasn't really possible in the original graphic novel, because showing too much of Adrian's perspective early on would have spoiled the ending twist of him being the villain. So, if Irons' Ozymandias is more of a protagonist this time around, what is his goal?

Watchmen Footage Connects Ozymandias To Doctor Manhattan

Jeremy Irons as Ozymandias in Watchmen

The first footage from Watchmen doesn't give much away, but it does contain a massive clue as to what Ozymandias' plan could be. In the one shot where Irons says ominously, "It's only just begun," he is standing in front of lettering that spells out "Gila Flats 195_" - the testing facility in Arizona where Jon Osterman suffered the original accident that transformed him into Doctor Manhattan.

A set photo of a prop newspaper from Watchmen revealed that Adrian Veidt has been officially declared dead (or rather, "presumed deceased") after having not been seen by anyone for 10 years, so it's possible that the Gila Flats facility has become his new base of operations. The facility was shut down following a terrible fire and has presumably been left abandoned ever since, so it would be a fitting location for Ozymandias to turn into his new fortress - and one that would appeal to his poetic soul. Whether he has set up shop there or whether he's just visiting, there seems to be one very obvious reason why Ozymandias would want to go to Gila Flats: to recreate the set of circumstances in which Doctor Manhattan was born, and "gift" the world another godlike being.

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