'Watchmen' Trailer Sees a Masked Regina King Facing Off With Vigilantes

Watchmen HBO

Damon Lindelof’s adaptation debuts Sunday, Oct. 20 on HBO.

The Watchmen are back with a whole new saga, which is previewed in HBO’s first official trailer for the upcoming series. 

Based on the iconic DC Comics graphic novel from writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins, Watchmen is being adapted for TV by Damon Lindelof, whose previous work includes ABC's Lost and The Leftovers on HBO. 

Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, the series embraces the nostalgia of the groundbreaking source material while breaking new ground in a way that only Lindelof can. The original Watchmen is being “remixed,” as the creator puts it, with the introduction of new characters that live in a world years after the original events took place. Among the franchise’s original characters, Doctor Manhattan, Silk Spectre and Ozymandias are expected to return in some form.  

As seen in the trailer, the series stars Oscar winner Regina King as Angela Abar, a lead detective in the Tulsa, Oklahoma Police who is forced to wear a mask to protect her identity from vigilantes and other outlaws. In this Watchmen, Rorschach's followers are white supremacists, and the police don these masks as they fight against terrorists in their theoretical backyard. 

"She is a product of her experiences and her environment, and as you hopefully continue to watch the episodes, you will see why she is this woman who feels like she needs to wear several masks," King teased during Watchmen's San Diego Comic-Con panel in July. "I think because we see a lot of the story happening in Tulsa through Angela's eyes… we are reminded how we go around in our day to day taking off masks and putting them on… That, as far as a character is concerned, is very different than any character I've played." 

In addition to King, the cast also includes Jeremy Irons as an aging and imperious lord of a British Manor; Don Johnson as Tulsa Chief of Police Judd Crawford; Jean Smart as FBI Agent Laurie Blake; Tim Blake Nelson as Detective Looking Glass; Louis Gossett Jr. as Will Reeves; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Cal Abar; Tom Mison as Mr. Phillips; Frances Fisher as Jane Crawford; Sara Vickers as Ms. Crookshanks; and Hong Chau as Lady Trieu, a mysterious trillionaire.

Speaking to ET in late April while she was filming Watchmen in Atlanta, Chau admitted she was having a great time on set. “I’ve been a fan of Regina King’s for a really long time, so it’s been really nice to work with her on the show,” she said, unable to tease anything more about the anticipated series. 

Watchmen debuts Sunday, Oct. 20 on HBO.