All of the U.S. flags in the film have 51 stars, because in the film's alternate history, Vietnam became the 51st state after America won the Vietnam War.

Jackie Earle Haley was the only one of the main actors who was already familiar with the comic book. He actively campaigned for the part of Rorschach.

During the opening credits, the original Nite Owl stops a mugging. There are Batman comic book covers and Fleidermaus posters hanging on the wall of the alley. It can be assumed the people he saves from being accosted are Thomas and Martha Wayne, parents of Bruce Wayne, who are coming out of the theater. This is further implied by a poster with the word "GOTHAM" on it. Gotham is the city in which Batman operates, but since his parents lived, there's no need for Bruce Wayne to become Batman in the Watchmen universe.

The introduction features many cultural references from history, slightly altered: -Silhouette kisses the nurse in the V-J Day celebration in Times Square, taking the place of the sailor in Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photo. The sailor can be seen in the background. -Sally Jupiter's retirement party recreates the Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. -The photo of The Comedian shaking hands with President Nixon is based on the photograph of Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley. -The image of a peace protester placing a flower in a gun barrel mirrors the famous "Flower Power" photo taken by Bernie Boston in 1967. The scene itself also suggests a later event: the shooting of protesting students by National Guard soldiers at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970. -Ozymandias outside Studio 54. Actors representing The Village People can be seen behind him on his right, David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust is to the left and Mick Jagger can also be seen in the shot.

The first trailer for the film, which premiered with The Dark Knight (2008) sparked so much interest that it sent the graphic novel back onto the bestseller list. Barnes and Noble Bookstores reported selling out of the novel nationwide.

In the opening montage Neil Armstrong says "Good luck Mr. Gorsky" on the moon. In urban legend, the child Armstrong, searching in his neighbors' backyard for his lost baseball, overhears Mrs. Gorsky from the bedroom saying 'Oral sex?! I'll give you oral sex when that kid next door walks on the moon!' and so, years later, says "Good luck Mr. Gorsky" as the first lunar transmission to Earth. This story has been debunked by Armstrong himself, and other sources.

The first official image from Zack Snyder - a test shot of Rorshach holding The Comedian's button - was actually hidden in a trailer for Snyder's previous film, 300 (2006). It features that film's associate producer, Wesley Coller, wearing a makeshift mask in front of a composite New York City backdrop, and was created as an experiment by Snyder to establish the mood and look of his proposed Watchmen project. Snyder's wife, Deborah Snyder, bet him $100 that no one would discover it, while he was convinced that someone would find it almost immediately. He won.

When Patrick Wilson was offered the role of Dan Dreiberg, he called one of his best friends who is a huge comic book fan, and asked him what he knew about the Watchmen comic. He told Patrick that if he was ever to do a superhero movie that this was the one to do. Having gotten the part, Patrick invited his friend to visit the set when filming the prison escape scene.

Although Jackie Earle Haley has a black belt in Kenpo, he chose not to draw on those skills in his fight scenes, as he felt that Rorscharch would have fought in a scrappier, less disciplined style.

When offered the role of Adrian Veidt, Matthew Goode had never read the graphic novel. He called a friend who had and asked if he should even bother to read the script. Not only did the friend say yes, he insisted that Goode immediately read the graphic novel and accept the role without question. Later, after he read both the script and the novel, Goode admitted his friend was right to advise him take the role without delay.

The symbol Dr. Manhattan inscribes on his forehead depicts the Bohr model of a hydrogen atom: one proton (the central dot) orbited by one electron (the upper dot). Hydrogen is the most common and fundamental element in the universe. In the original story, a promotions official tried to give Manhattan a helmet with a six-electron symbol on it. Manhattan refused saying he'd have a symbol he could "respect" and then burned the hydrogen symbol into his head.

Traditionally, CGI characters such as Doctor Manhattan would require two shoots for every scene in which the character appears. First, the scene would be filmed with a placeholder instead of the CGI character, then the character's movements would be recorded on a "motion capture" stage to provide a reference in creating the CGI character. Given the amount of screen time Doctor Manhattan has, this would have been an expensive process. Instead, Billy Crudup simultaneously provided Manhattan's placeholder and motion capture on set. Crudup wore a specially-designed motion capture suit and face markers, and was constantly filmed by at least two cameras, one for all-over movement and another trained on his face to follow his expressions. This way, his on-set performance as the placeholder could be used directly in creating the CGI character. To provide the effect of Doctor Manhattan's eerie glow, Crudup's suit was studded with 2,500 blue lights, so that he could act as an "exotic lighting instrument". Therefore, Manhattan's glow follows his movements more closely than an on-set light could, and illuminates his surroundings in a more convincing manner than a computer effect would.

Popular John F. Kennedy assassination-conspiracy-theory suggests that the President was killed by a bullet fired from the front; specifically, from a fence behind a grassy knoll. Also, three transients arrested soon after Kennedy's murder are said to be the "additional assassins." The opening montage portrays the Comedian delivering the fatal bullet from the grassy knoll's fence, dressed in the same outfit as one of the "Three Tramps," as they were photographed. The puff of gun smoke said to have been seen, turns out to be Blake's cigar smoke. At Blake's funeral, the soundtrack plays "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel, a song reportedly inspired by national emotional trauma from the Kennedy murder.

Zack Snyder found casting for The Comedian to be a difficult process, as the character is gruff and grizzled. Most of the actors he met with he felt were too groomed. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was very grumpy during his meeting with Snyder, something that appealed to him a great deal.

The phrases "Who will watch the Watchmen?" was written by the Roman poet Juvenal. The original Latin phrase is "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" and is about trying to guard a woman from committing immoral and dubious behavior when the guards themselves could be corrupted by the woman they are guarding. It is sometimes translated as "Who guards the guards?" or "Who will watch the watchers themselves?"

Zack Snyder based his storyboards for the film on the panels of the graphic novel. He has stated that in order to be true to the source when adapting a graphic novel to the screen, the original visual art should be respected as much as the written portion. Snyder personally asked Dave Gibbons, the novel's artist, to design the first teaser film poster. Gibbons enthusiastically agreed and designed the poster to have subtle visual clues hinting at the film's plot. When casting the film, each actor was presented with a script and a copy of the book. They were allowed to carry the latter on set and re-write dialogue to better match that of the source material. Dozens of scenes reenact panels from the novel. A good example is Rorschach squatting on the windowsill about to enter The Comedian's apartment early in the film.

When Dan and Laurie are having dinner, you can hear someone in the background say "I'm glad I ordered the four-legged chicken!" In the corresponding scene in the original graphic novel, there is an image of a waiter carrying a four-legged chicken.

Of all the Watchmen, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan are the only two that never used expletives.

Author Alan Moore preemptively disowns all filmed adaptations of his work, as he sold the movie rights to his first few volumes when he was young and naïve, and regrets this. When asked in an interview with about his dismissal of the movie, Zack Snyder was quoted as saying "Worst case scenario - Alan puts the movie on his DVD player on a cold Sunday in London and watches and says, 'Yeah, that doesn't suck too bad.'" When this was brought up with Moore himself in a later interview in the British Tripwire comics fanzine, the writer commented "That's the worst case scenario? I think he's underestimated what the worst case scenario would be... that's never going to happen in my DVD player in 'London' [Moore very famously lives in Northampton]. I'm never going to watch this fucking thing." (Reportedly, on another occasion, a better-tempered Moore said that it's probably a good movie in its own right, but he is indifferent to movies based on his work.) Still, Snyder has said that his ultimate hope is that someday Moore will actually see the film and consider it to be a decent representation of the original graphic novel.

Rorschach's name refers to the famous Rorschach inkblot test used in psychotherapy. The graphic novel explains that the material from his mask was intended for a dress belonging to Kitty Genovese. Her murder in public view sparked an outcry about bystander apathy, and is also commonly studied within psychology.

Dr. Manhattan, after his accident, creates the perfect human form to replace his old body. To achieve Dr. Manhattan's ultra-ripped muscled look, his physique was modeled on that of actor and model Greg Plitt.

In the opening montage, you see a B-29 bomber with the name "Miss Jupiter". The name of the pilot stenciled on the plane is Peter Aperlo, one of the writers.

When the Minutemen have their photograph taken in 1940, Nite Owl shakes hands with the photographer and says "Thank you Weegee". Arthur 'Weegee' Fellig was an Austrian-born photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography in the 1930s and '40s. He also worked with, among others, Stanley Kubrick.

Zack Snyder cast actors younger than their characters because of the large number of flashbacks in the story. Snyder decided that make-up and special effects artists would have an easier time making actors look older, rather than younger. Carla Gugino (born 1971), 37 while filming, plays the 67-year-old mother of Malin Akerman (born 1978), who in turn is supposed to be younger than the character of Laura Mennell (born 1980). Jeffrey Dean Morgan, however, was not deemed able to play a 16-year-old, so it was decided to change the Comedian's birth year from 1924 to 1918. Jackie Earle Haley, 47, played Rorschach, 45 in the book. The Rorschach newscast gives his age as 35, but this is a character error, as all other chronology in the film indicates that Rorschach is 45, not 35.

The shooting of President John F. Kennedy in the movie is framed exactly like the famous Zapruder Film of Kennedy Assassination (1970), the only authentic footage of the assassination. In the foreground, just as Kennedy is hit, you see an actor playing Abraham Zapruder with his camera.

Was shipped to some theaters under the codename "Old Heroes Never Die".

Ozymandias is a Greek name for Pharaoh Rameses II, and the title of a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The inscription from a ruined statue quoted in the sonnet appears under a massive Egyptian bust in his lair.

Zack Snyder wanted to cast his 300 (2006) star Gerard Butler in this film and even promised him a role. When all the roles were cast and Butler didn't have one, Snyder cast him in Tales of the Black Freighter (2009), which is based on the comic-within-a-comic from the Watchmen graphic novel and was released on DVD around the time Watchmen was released in theaters.

Patrick Wilson gained 25 pounds to play the overweight, out-of-condition Nite Owl II.

When Silk Spectre and Nite Owl II rescue the people from the burning tenement, Silk Spectre can be seen briefly putting paper cups into a compartment. In the comic panel at this point, Nite Owl II offers coffee to the people they have just rescued.

Three Bob Dylan songs are used in the movie. "The Times They Are a-Changin'" for the opening credits, "All Along the Watchtower" near the end, and "Desolation Row" for the closing credits. All three songs were referred to in the original graphic novel. "The Times They Are a-Changin'" is the only one where the Bob Dylan version is used as the other two are covered by Jimi Hendrix and My Chemical Romance.

When Dan Dreiberg and Hollis Mason watch a television news report referencing Rorschach, they see a black and white "file footage" of Rorschach walking quickly away and to the right of the camera position, glancing back over his right shoulder momentarily and then continuing to walk away. That footage is intentionally designed to precisely mimic the infamously-disputed film of Bigfoot (known as the Patterson-Gimlin Film (1967)).

During the meeting of the Crimebusters, in which the Comedian burns the map of the U.S., the Zippo lighter he uses is engraved with an image of Sally Jupiter.

The following titles can be seen on Ozymandias' wall of television monitors: Tweetie Pie (1947), Haredevil Hare (1948), Dough Ray Me-ow (1948), The Giant Gila Monster (1959), The Tonight Show (1962), The 300 Spartans (1962), Fail Safe (1964), Dallas (1978), Mad Max (1979), The Jesus Film (1979), Altered States (1980), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), 1984 (1984), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), MTV's 20 Most Outrageous Moments (2001), and the music video for Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love".

Tim Burton was, at one point, interested in directing the film, with Johnny Depp as The Comedian, but he began work on Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) and Alice in Wonderland (2010), and passed on the offer.

On Veidt's desk, a copy of Hollis Mason's fictional biography "Under the Hood" can be seen. The book was quoted in the graphic novel, and used to expose plot points that would have been otherwise left unexplored. The song "Ride of The Valkyries", played during Dr. Manhattan's Vietnam battle, is referred to in Mason's recount of a sad childhood memory.

The trailer features the song "The Beginning is the End is the Beginning" by Smashing Pumpkins, which was a B-Side for the single "The End is the Beginning is the End", the theme from Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin (1997).

Early in the movie, as U.S.-U.S.S.R. tensions escalate, the 1983 song "99 Luftballons" plays. This song by German singer Nena originates from a Rolling Stones concert in Berlin, when her guitarist noticed a mass of balloons being released. He wondered if the balloons drifted over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet (East German) side, whether something so innocent could trigger nuclear war.

Ozymandias' love for Ancient Egyptian royal attributes does not stop at his furniture. He wears a belt with an Udjat eye on it, an Ancient Egyptian sign of protection. Below the belt, on his hips and over the pant part of his costume, he wears a purple-ish, short version of the Ancient Egyptian Shendyt. This is a royal apron, or kilt, which is pleated. Ozymandias' Shendyt is a rubber replica of what used to be cloth and is far shorter than it was for pharaohs, given that he still has to be able to move his legs freely. In addition to these Egyptian inspired costume details, he also wears a modernized version of the old Roman golden laurels around his head, another nod to his love for all things ancient and powerful.

$7 million had already been spent on Watchmen (2009) in pre-production before the project came to Zack Snyder.

Premiered in more theaters (3,611) than any other R-rated movie. Scored the biggest debut of 2009 with a $55.7 million weekend gross in March of the same year, until Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) opened a few weeks later.

The scene at the beginning, where a girl puts a flower on the barrel of a soldier's rifle, is a reference to a famous photograph by Marc Ribaud called: "An American Young Girl".

The movie rights to the Alan Moore graphic novels Watchmen and V for Vendetta were acquired together in the late 1980s. Moore was asked to write a script, but declined. The studio then had Sam Hamm write a script. Terry Gilliam considered directing this film as early as 1989, but after several re-writes assisted by Charles McKeown, decided the material unfilmable, except as a five-hour miniseries at a cost of one million dollars per page (with CGI not in use yet). Michael Bay was considered as director in 2003. In 2004, the rights had been sold to Paramount, where Paul Greengrass planned a loose adaptation set in the present day. Warner Brothers soon reacquired the rights for Darren Aronofsky, who also wanted a present-day setting, replacing Vietnam with Iraq and terrorism. Uncomfortable with that, Warner hired Zack Snyder, of 300 (2006) fame. Casting rumors over the years included Sigourney Weaver (Sally Jupiter); John Hurt, Robin Williams, Doug Hutchison, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Glen Hansard, Sean Penn (Rorschach); Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Keanu Reeves (Dr. Manhattan); Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, Ron Perlman, Thomas Jane (Comedian); Richard Gere, Kevin Costner, John Cusack, Joaquin Phoenix (Nite Owl II); Nathan Fillion (either Comedian or Nite Owl II); Jamie Lee Curtis, Hilary Swank, Jessica Biel, Hilary Duff (Silk Spectre II); Tom Cruise, Jude Law (Ozymandias). In the finished film, Jackie Earle Haley is the only one of the seven primary cast members who was even in the film industry when the movie was first attempted.

Patrick Wilson was cast after Zack Snyder saw his performance in Little Children (2006), in which he co-starred with Jackie Earle Haley.

There are over 1,100 visual effects shots in the film.

Some of the actors chosen to be newscasters (such as Mi-Jung Lee and Lynn Colliar) for bit parts in the movie, are newscasters in the Vancouver media.

The computer in Adrian Veidt's office is a black Apple Macintosh SE/30, running in inverted mode on-screen. Macintoshes of the era were never officially sold in black, but a consignment is believed to have been once used by the National Security Agency. The program running is an early version of the Mac OS. At the time, these versions were still in black and white, and the production team simply inverted the black and white colors to make it look different.

The Hustler magazine on The Comedian's table is from August 1985, and contains the headline "Comic Relief".

The lines spoken by Rorschach, referring to Pagliacci visiting a doctor, are taken by a poem from Mexican writer Juan de Dios Peza 'Reir Llorando', based on famous English comedian David Garrick.

Moloch has a copy of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" on his bedside table. In this poem, the word "moloch" appears several times.

Laurie's last name, Juspeczyk, is never spoken at any point in the film. Rorschach even calls her Jupiter in one scene, despite the fact that in the graphic novel, Laurie resents her mother's use of Jupiter to distance herself from her Polish roots. Her name is still written down as Juspeczyk at one point in the film. This is likely a nod to the fact that neither Dave Gibbons nor Alan Moore settled on a pronunciation for her name when the comic was made, although they have offered some guesses. Some Polish natives have come forth and declared that it should be pronounced you-SPETCH-ick, and this is used in Watchmen (2008).

The scene in the War Room (at around one hour and 24 minutes) mirrors Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

The clip the Comedian watches on television is a remake and homage to the famous "Share the Fantasy" Chanel No. 5 ad directed by Ridley Scott, the actual commercial does not contain the song "Unforgettable". The clip in the film is advertising Nostalgia, a fragrance by Adrian Veidt a.k.a. Ozymandias. Nostalgia is a repeated theme of both the film and the graphic novel.

Most of the songs featured in the movie are referenced directly in the comic. The first issue was titled after a "Desolation Row" verse. "Unforgettable" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'" are used in commercials for Adrian Veidt's cologne Nostalgia. "You're My Thrill" is played by Nite Owl II while he and Silk Spectre II are flying people away from the burning building. Issue 11 got its title from a verse in "All Along The Watchtower". "Ride of the Valkyries" is mentioned by the first Nite Owl as being the saddest thing he can think of due to an incident from his childhood. Additionally, the name of "Tales of the Black Freighter" was taken from the Marc Blitzstein translation of Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht's "Seeräuber-Jenny" ("Pirate Jenny") from "The Threepenny Opera", a favorite source of ideas for Alan Moore comics.

Pieces of 80s pop culture shown on Adrian Veidt's bank of monitors include Apple's "1984" commercial for the Macintosh, the Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" ad, and the music video for "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer.

When asked his thoughts on the upcoming movie adaptation of his seminal graphic novel, Alan Moore sighed and said "Do we really need another shitty film in the world?" Moore had famously and very vocally been unhappy about the adaptations of V for Vendetta (2005) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). Like many, Moore was also of a mind that the comic was unfilmable.

When the intruder breaks into Edward Blake's apartment in the opening scene, Blake throws a mug at them. The mug shatters on the door, hitting the number above the peephole. The door number is clearly seen as 3001, but as the mug shatters, it ricochets off to the right and casts a shadow over the number, obscuring the "1" deeply in shadow. This leaves a very well-lit "300." This may very well be an editing effect to give a nod to Zack Snyder's earlier movie 300 (2006).

Ozymandias' suit is deliberately modeled on the infamous Batsuits featured in Joel Schumacher's much-maligned Batman & Robin (1997).

In the clip from Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), seen on one of Ozymandias' television screens, actor Martin Kove is wearing a Smile button, which is an image associated with Watchmen and The Comedian in particular. However, in Rambo, the Smile is actually frowning.

During the opening credits, when Ozymandias is outside Studio 54, actors representing the following people appear: The Village People (on the right), and David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust leaning on the car with Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones. (Ozymandias reaches for Bowie to shake his hand after he turns from the cameras.)

Carla Gugino, who plays Malin Akerman's mother, is only seven years older than her on-screen daughter.

The pistols used by the Comedian are D&L Sports "Professional Model" .45 longslides, and are actual firearms, not prop pieces.

Ozymandias proved to be a difficult role to fill, as the part required an actor who was handsome, fit but with a world-weariness to him. After a lengthy search, Zack Snyder was delighted to find that Matthew Goode possessed all the requisite qualities.

If you look closely during the opening credit sequence, when Silk Spectre is having her photo taken with the police, you can see the Police Chief slyly trying to look down her blouse, then turning his head and grinning.

During one of Rorschach's investigations, he finds a matchbook with the logo for "Happy Harry" on it. Happy Harry made an animated trailer for a "Watchmen" cartoon that never existed.

The perfume Nostalgia makes an appearance at the beginning of the film in The Comedian's apartment. It was featured in Laurie and Dr. Manhattan's scene on Mars in the graphic novel, and was shown to be one of Veidt's product lines.

Zack Snyder cast Matt Frewer after working with him on Dawn of the Dead (2004) and Stephen McHattie after working with him on 300 (2006).

The following titles are mentioned in the end credits: The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), Jeopardy! (1984), Who's the Boss? (1984), MacGyver (1985), Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie (1995), Wheel of Fortune (1983).

The GD on the marquee of the Gunga Diner resembles the Grateful Dead logo. There are several Grateful Dead references in the graphic novel.

This was the first DC Comics film that featured nudity. The others are Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) (The Ultimate Edition) and Wonder Woman (2017).

"Who watches the watchmen?" was spoken by Aristotle responding to the theory of Plato about filakes (Watchmen) who will be the ultimate, infallible authority in the city-state. Aristotle said "Pios tha filatei tus filakes?" ("Who watches the watchmen?") to deny that theory. In the graphic novel, the phrase is never fully seen, being always either partly covered or incompletely written. In the film, the complete phrase appears at least twice.

The film strongly implies that Adrian Veidt is gay and Dan Dreiberg is Jewish. The former is hinted at by Veidt's interactions at Studio 54 and the presence of a computer file titled "BOYS" when Nite Owl and Rorshach break into his computer. The latter is hinted at when Veidt scoffs over the death of the Comedian by calling him "practically a Nazi" and then looks closely at Dreiberg and saying "you knew that better than anyone", and possibly in Comedian's contempt for Nite Owl during the rioting crowd sequence (though this also reads simply as the ultra-conservative Comedian having no patience for Dan's more liberal views).

After its $55.7 million opening weekend, it finally crossed the $100 million mark on its 21st day of release, setting the record of the slowest movie to $100 million after a $50 million plus opening, previously held by 8 Mile (2002) (twenty days after a $51.2 million opening). The record was broken again two years later by Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) (23 days after $52.6 million opening).

During the Crimebusters meeting (at around 45 minutes), the labels of national security issues include: Illegal Immigration, Murder, Kidnapping, Black Unrest, Race Riots, Extortion, Prostitution, Anti-War Demos, Promiscuity, Corruption, Drugs, and Draft Dodgers. While some of these are actual issues of importance ("Corruption" and "Murder"), others were probably suggested by a single member, and begrudgingly included by the group: i.e. "Promiscuity" was seen as dangerous only by moralist Rorschach, and "Illegal Immigration" and "Draft Dodgers" by the ultra-nationalist Comedian.

Rorschach is reminded by The Comedian of a joke he heard regarding Pagliacci the clown. In fact, Pagliacci is the Italian word for 'clowns' and refers to the Italian opera of the same name. A more historically correct version of this joke is told by Gerald Mohr as Philip Marlow at the end of the 1949 CBS radio episode "The Heat Wave." Philip Marlow tells the same joke, but the subject is an actual person, "Grock, the world famous clown," thereby pre-dating the Watchmen gag by 60 years.

Billy Crudup and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have shared more than just screentime in the film. Crudup is the father of actress Mary-Louise Parker's son William. Parker was engaged to Morgan, until they broke up in 2008.

Three stuntmen were involved in the scene where the Comedian attempts to rape Silk Spectre.

Malin Akerman said in an interview that she had no problem with being naked in her role because, unlike a lot of other actresses, she grew up learning that nudity is nothing to be ashamed of. "In Sweden, nudity is natural. It's not considered sexual. We've grown up with boobies on television. People are topless on the beach. My parents would sometimes walk naked from the bedroom to the bathroom. You don't blink because it's so natural. I always think of my parents when I take a role. If I had been brought up in a prudish household, perhaps I would think differently. But, if the role is a good one, the nudity is not even an afterthought."

Billy Crudup wore a white suit covered with blue LEDs for his scenes opposite his fellow actors, giving them something, against which they could perform. He would then be blown up via CGI into the enormous (and blue) Dr. Manhattan.

In an interview with the German magazine Spiegel, director Zack Snyder said that he wanted the violence in this movie to be depicted as extremely as possible, to make it completely different from the rather sanitized depiction of violence in the media (such as PG-13 movies). He reasoned that he wanted the viewers to catch themselves enjoying the gruesome scenes, in order to make them wonder if something was wrong with them, and that they may think about the violence in other films they're usually watching.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan's first role in a big-screen adaptation of a comic.

Based on the speed, wingspan, and size of the jets seen during the Vietnam sequence, they are F-105 Thunderchiefs, the default Fighter and Bomber of the Vietnam War. The helicopters are UH-1 Iroquois, frequently referred to as the "Huey."

Thomas Jane turned down a part in the film due to other work commitments.

This film made the bake-off for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award nominations, though it failed to make the final three.

First DC movie that was rated R before Joker (2019).

The US got all three versions of the film initially released on Blu-ray, unlike the UK and AU which only saw two versions of the film released at first. The US got the Theatrical Cut, Director's Cut and Ultimate Cut. Until the 2019 4K release, both the UK and the AU only saw the release of the Theatrical Cut and the Director's Cut. To make up for the lack of Ultimate Cut; Warner Bros released a Blu-ray of the twenty-six minute "Tales of the Black Freighter" animation that played a big part in the Ultimate Cut released in the US.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jay Brazeau would go on to appear in The Possession (2012).

Daniel Craig was considered for the role of Rorschach.

Among the images on Adrian's massive monitor wall at Karnak is an image of Marvin the Martian. This scene immediately follows the discussion scene between Lori and Jon, which takes place on Mars.

When Eddie sets the map on fire at the Watchmen meeting, it blazes straight up through the State of Oklahoma, which is where the HBO TV series treatment of Watchmen is set. Even though that series is designed as a sequel to the books, not this movie, it's still a connection to the future use of the property.

L. Harvey Gold and Jay Brazeau previously appeared in They (2002).

Patrick Wilson later starred on season 2 of Fargo opposite jean smart; who starred in the HBO watchmen TV show.

as of 2020; this is the last film adaptation of an Alan Moore graphic novel.

Featured in "The A to Z of Superhero Movies: From Abar to ZsaZsa via the MCU", written by Rob Hill.

Patrick Wilson, who plays Dan Dreiberg, also plays Prince Orm in a later super hero film, the 2019 Aquaman, which is also a DC/Warner property.

Zack Snyder: In the extended cut, as a U.S. soldier during the Vietnam Battle. He is on the chopper with the Comedian.

There is a metaphysical joke towards the conclusion. In the film, Ozymandias chides Nite Owl II, saying, "Dan, I'm not a comic book villain." Whereas in the comic book he says that he is not a film villain, specifically, "Dan, I'm not a Republic serial villain."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Edward Morgan Blake, the Comedian. Morgan initially turned down the role after reading the first three pages of the script, assuming the character was only a cameo. His agent persuaded him to read the entire script and then make a decision.

The original draft by Sam Hamm features a vastly different vision than that depicted in the final film. The most prominent sequences are: Veidt's plan to change the world (traveling back in time and assassinating Jon Osterman via sniper rifle before he becomes Doctor Manhattan); Doctor Manhattan subsequently killing Veidt instead of letting him live in the graphic novel/final movie; Rorschach's treatment of the child rapist on the case that created him (drenching the man in cow blood and meat and letting him be fed to his own dogs). Additionally, in the ending, Doctor Manhattan destroys himself in the past before Jon is transformed into Doctor Manhattan, causing a rift in time and space. Then Laurie, Dan, and Rorschach are sucked into an alternate dimension and discover a world where they are characters in a hit comic book serial, and decide to pick up fighting crime again.

In both the graphic novel and the movie, after Doctor Manhattan kills Rorschach, he speaks to Laurie about leaving this galaxy for one considerably less complicated. He also mentions the possibility he will try creating life. In recent DC Comics events revolving around their Rebirth series, Doctor Manhattan is heavily implied to be the creator of the regular DC Comics Universe.

A copy of the graphic novel "Watchmen" can clearly be seen on Dan's desk as he and Laurie first make love. Malin Akerman has confirmed its presence in public comments. At around 2hr 10mins of the two-disc director's cut, a copy of the same book is on the bottom shelf of Hollis Mason's bookshelf when he is being beaten up by the Knot Tops.

While writing the original graphic novel, Alan Moore was surprised to find out that his intended ending had remarkable similarity to the television episode The Outer Limits: The Architects of Fear (1963). Near the end of the film, Sally Jupiter can be seen watching the series on television.

One of the inkblots that appears during Rorschach's examination, which he perceives to be two lovers (but which he describes as "some nice flowers"), appears twice during his final confrontation with Dr. Manhattan: on his mask, and in the blood pattern on the snow.

Near the end of the graphic novel, a newspaper headline can be seen: "R.R. Runs for President." Though we are led to think R.R. is Ronald Reagan, the initials turn out, a few pages later, to stand for Robert Redford. The film simply changes the reference to Reagan, with no mention of Redford.

As Dr. Manhattan transports a generator to Veidt's laboratory, a large sign is visible in Karnak reading '(S)ub (Q)uantum (U)nified (I)ntrinsic Field (D)evice', the first letters forming the word SQUID when read top to bottom. At the same time, the first generator emits tentacle-like energy emanations housed in a plasma sphere, upon going off the first time and again in New York City just before exploding. This is a reference to the original ending of the comic series, which centered on Veidt's creation of a cloned squid-like creature to attack New York City, a horror which is blamed on aliens, not Dr. Manhattan.

During Dr. Manhattan's recitation about the lack of life on Mars, the pan over the Martian surface begins with a close-up of something looking like the Cydonia Face on Mars. The Martian "Smiley Crater" is shown in the last scene. Both are real Martian surface features.

When Rorschach goes into The Comedian's apartment via the window with his grapple gun, he goes to the closet to reveal Comedian's secret stash of weapons and equipment. In a quick shot, we can see he has a picture of Laurie (Silk Spectre II), Sally Jupiter's daughter. Foreshadowing that he is, in fact, her father.

Doctor Manhattan likens Laurie's birth to the "thermodynamic miracle" of "turning air into gold". In the comic, Doctor Manhattan elaborates that a "thermodynamic miracle" is an event which is incredibly energetically unfavorable, such as an oxygen atom spontaneously turning into a gold atom. In quantum mechanics, although the odds are beyond astronomical, such a classically-forbidden event can still occur.

The song played during the sex scene between Night Owl II and Silk Spectre II is Leonard Cohen's 1984 version of Hallelujah. This song is often used in movies (by several cover artists) depicting a moment of sadness or heartbreak. In this case, it is used in exactly the opposite situation. Significantly, the part used includes the last verse which is usually omitted in most cover versions, but which is fitting in the context of the scene.

While Rorschach and Nite Owl II are investigating Pyramid International at Veidt Interprises, we can see the Palette of Narmer, an ancient Egyptian work of art, on the mantle above Veidt's cabinets. The palette recounts the rise to power of King Narmer, who, after much violence, united the Upper and Lower Kingdoms of Egypt under one ruler. Similarly, in the film, Ozymandias plots to unify the divided nations of the world against a common enemy by globally committing acts of violence in framing Dr. Manhattan.

The old news vendor and the young African American male who reads comic books about pirate ships at his stand, are both named Bernard. They serve as a "Greek chorus" representing the common man in the graphic novel, and are killed by Veidt's attack in the end.

In the finale, Laurie remarks that Jon (Doctor Manhattan) would say "nothing ever ends". In the comic book, the meaning of this comment is more obvious. The line is delivered by Doctor Manhattan in response to Ozymandias asking if Ozymandias' plan will turn out to be worth the sacrifice "in the end".

The soldiers who carry The Comedian's coffin to its grave site all wear the black and white beret flash of the 5th Special Forces Group which, given The Comedian's service in Vietnam, seems likely, since it was one of the most visible, and highly decorated units, of that war.

When Laurie and Dan are having dinner, Walter Kovacs walks past in the background.

Delivery trucks with the Pyramid Transnational logo appear throughout the film: One is outside The Comedian's high rise as the detectives are investigating, another driving by the Gunga Diner, and another in the background as Rorschach watches Dan and Laurie leave the diner.

Lee Iacocca wasn't informed about his portrayal in this film, and wasn't pleased when he heard that he was killed off during the attempted assassination on Veidt. Zack Snyder said: "It's nothing against Lee; I think Lee's awesome. But he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." About the legal ramifications, Snyder added: "I think we got away with it because the movie has a satirical quality to it, and there were so many other famous people (in the film), look-a-likes of Richard Nixon, Annie Leibovitz, or John F. Kennedy. These are the people that we need in the movie to try and create this '80s vibe, and so, when we had the scene where Adrian was meeting with the captains of industry, Lee just kinda jumped out as a famous person you identify with the '80s, but also with being in the automotive industry." Lee later admitted that Walter Addison looked good in the part.

In the opening credits, we see the retirement party for Sally Jupiter, which is a reference to the Last Supper painting. The Comedian is seated directly to Sally's right. In the Last Supper, Jesus is seated in the middle and the person on his right is considered by many to be Mary Magdelene. It is also suggested that Mary was the mother of Jesus's child. Therefore, the placement of the Comedian on Sally's right is a reference to him being the father of her child, Laurie.

As Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) is speaking with the captains of industry, and they move into the lobby area, a Muzak version of Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" can be heard playing.

In an unspecified draft by David Hayter, Dan and Laurie still spend the night at Karnak after Veidt assassinates the leaders of almost every country. However, Laurie wakes up later and then gets seriously drunk on champagne, possibly because of the loss of Jon and Rorschach. She then discovers that Dan is fighting with Veidt which ends with Dan killing Adrian Veidt with a boomerang.

When the gunman enters Adrian Veidt's building, just before the elevator opens, the arrow glows purple. This is the symbol of the Pyramid Company.

Richard Nixon's address to the world at the end of the film is strikingly similar to George W. Bush's response to the September 11th attacks: "None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you, good night, and God bless America." In the film, Nixon's line is "This is a day we shall never forget, and yet we go forward to defend the human race, and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. God bless us all."

When Nite Owl II and Rorschach break into Veidt's office, Rorschach stands in front of several Egyptian items. The largest of them is clearly the famous Palette of Narmer, which shows one of the earliest known depictions of a pharaoh.

When the atomic blast hits New York City, a TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER poster can be seen on a brick wall off to the right.

In the Comedian's death scene, you can see an old photo of Silk Spectre I, mother of his child, on the wall.

Rorschach's journal being discovered by the employee of the New Frontiersman news agency after the world has united in peace at the end of the film, hints that although Dr. Manhatten killed him to prevent the truth getting out and disturbing the peace, the journal's contents leaked to the public could possibly lead to humanity once again on the brink of mass extinction. Thus Viedt's efforts being all for nothing, but to delay the inevitable. Therefore justice prevails, a fundamental principle Rorschach believed in and died for.

In the first trailer released for this film, the only discernible words spoken (apart from the song) are by the two Watchmen who die in the film. Both are given as voice-overs (The Comedian's "God help us all" and Rorschach's "The world will look up and shout 'save us!' and I'll whisper 'no'")

Towards the end of the movie, the word Pioneer above the New Frontiersman logo has Rorschach's "calling card" symbol using a backwards P in front of Pioneer.

While Veidt talks to the press, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center can be seen outside his office window. A blimp is also in the background, and appears to be flying towards the towers very slowly. At the end, when New York City is in ruins, and Veidt Enterprises is rebuilding the city, the towers still stand, unharmed.

Unlike the scene in the graphic novel, in which Dan Dreiberg a.k.a. Nite Owl II wasn't present when Manhatten kills Rorschach, he was present in the scene in the film.

Immediately preceding the New York City detonation, the Prison Psychiatrist's briefcase opens and his Rorschach Cards fall out; a close-up of the latch on his briefcase shows the digits "300," referencing Director Zack Snyder's previous film.

Rorschach diary's first date is marked as October 12, 1985, being the last date November 1, 1985: October 12 is the date of America's discovery by Christopher Columbus (The Comedian's death is discovered by Rorschach), and November 1 is All Saint's Day, known in Latin countries as Day of the Dead, when the living ones pay a tribute to their familiar and beloved beings who passed away (Rorschach is killed by Dr. Manhattan).

The extended director's cut, aka the Ultimate Cut, shows Tales of the Black Freighter (2009), scenes from the graphic novel the teenage boy is reading. Parts of this story line are nearly identical to Rome: Pharsalus (2005). In both, bloated corpses from a sunken ship are tied together to form a raft, and it is used to escape a desert island. In both stories, they also catch a live seagull and eat it raw, and later vomit it up.

The song that plays during The Comedian's funeral, the 1965 overdubbed version of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence," has often been associated with the John F. Kennedy assassination, although Paul Simon has stated in interviews that he began writing the song when he was twenty-one years old, at least a year before the assassination took place. In the opening credits sequence of the film, The Comedian is revealed to be the man who shot Kennedy.

When Laurie and Dan have dinner at Raphael's restaurant, each table has a yellow rose on it. Yellow roses traditionally symbolise infidelity, foreshadowing Laurie and Dan sleeping with each other - an event Dr. Manhattan implied he had foreseen in the previous scene.

The assassin's foot crushes his "delivery" (at around one hour and thirty minutes), a box labeled "PYRAMID - A New World Delivered", which refers to the climactic ending. PYRAMID is a Veidt enterprise, and the assassin was hired by Veidt.

In the theatrical cut, Richard Nixon says, "Humanity is in the hands of a higher authority than mine. Let's just hope he's on our side." Immediately following this, the film cuts to Adrian Veidt.

In The Comedian's funeral scene (at around 51 minutes), an adjacent tombstone appears to read "Bucher", which could refer to a summary of Blake's career.