Jeremy Irons is reportedly playing an older version of Ozymandias in the forthcoming Watchmen television series. Originally a comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen was adapted for the big screen in 2009 by Zack Snyder. The story tells a dark and bloody tale of a group of retired superheroes who are drawn back into the spotlight after the death of a former colleague and last year, a Watchmen TV series was announced with Damon Lindelof acting as showrunner. Lindelof has since confirmed that the new project will be neither an adaptation of the source material, nor a direct sequel to the movie.
Several names have been cast in as-yet-unknown roles including Don Johnson, Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, but perhaps the most recognizable among the new Watchmen team thus far is veteran actor, Jeremy Irons. Following Irons' casting earlier this year, there was widespread speculation that he was set to play an older version of Ozymandias. In the comics and 2009 movie, Ozymandias, Adrian to his friends, is a genius, businessman and formidable fighter who was a member of the Watchmen team. Ultimately, he concocts a plan to unite mankind in peaceful harmony by staging an alien invasion and killing many innocents in the process. Thanos would be proud.
It is now being reported by SlashFilm that Irons is confirmed as playing an older Ozymandias in the upcoming Watchmen series. This report follows the previous speculation that was based on Irons' character's codename - The Blond Man - and his character description, which read:
"An aging imperious Lord...highly intelligent and won't let you forget it.... used to being obeyed and always correct. Arrogant, erudite and patrician. Physically fit, he's never missed a workout in his life."
While official confirmation on Irons' role - or indeed that of any of the cast - is still awaited from HBO, many would likely consider the actor a perfect fit for Ozymandias. In movies such as Justice League, Die Hard With A Vengeance and The Lion King, Irons has demonstrated an uncanny ability to portray characters with an intelligent aloofness and an air of superiority over others - traits synonymous with the Watchmen villain. The actor is also no stranger to playing the bad guy.
If Irons is indeed playing the supervillain formerly known as Adrian Veidt, this would give some idea as to the setting of the new Watchmen series - several decades ahead of the comic and movie. This corroborates previous reports that the series would take place roughly 30 years on from the previous story. However, set photos have suggested that, in the new TV series, Ozymandias is recently deceased. While this could have been a ruse to mislead viewers, it may also suggest that either Irons will only be seen in flashbacks or that his character has, in true supervillain style, faked his own death.
A potential return for Ozymandias also opens up the possibility of other familiar faces making an appearance. Characters such as Daniel Dreiberg (Nite Owl II) and Laurie Jupiter (Silk Specter II), as well as the presumably immortal Manhattan, were still alive at the end of the Watchmen story and could certainly make a return if Ozymandias is cooking up another evil scheme. The already-announced Don Johnson and Frances Fisher would certainly suit those first two roles nicely. Interestingly, Tim Blake Nelson has also been cast in the series and the actor bears more than a passing resemblance to the Rorschach character, although quite how he could return from utter disintegration remains to be seen.
Watchmen is set to premiere in 2019 on HBO.