HBO's 'Watchmen': Jeremy Irons Confirmed as Ozymandias, 'Legion's Jean Smart Cast

HBO's Watchmen continues to expand its impressive cast as it heads towards production. It's now being confirmed that Jeremy Irons is playing an older Ozymandias in the show while some new casting news points to Legion actress Jean Smart also joining the show in the role of a "mysterious FBI agent."

/Film snagged the confirmation of Irons' role, which had been rumored to be Ozymandias as far back as last summer. It's going to be one of the more pivotal roles in the show, as Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias, the "smartest man in the world," was actually the one responsible for the planning the series of events that manipulated his former Watchmen teammates and major world figures into causing the cataclysmic doomsday event that killed thousands in Manhattan. That event inspired world leaders into ending the Cold War and making peace, a price that Veidt was willing to pay with soul, which he knew would be forever tarnished, afterward. Given that this HBO series is set decades after that event, it will be very interesting to see how Adrian has fared with the weight of so much death on his shoulders, for so long. The show described his role as an "aging and imperious lord of a British manor," but there have also been set photos suggesting that Veidt could be dead when the show begins, so Irons could be appearing only in key flashbacks if that's true -- or perhaps Veidt's death is just an illusion...

As for Jean Smart, an actress of her caliber probably won't just be playing a bit part like a random FBI agent; it's a safe bet that there's some larger purpose to her presence in the show. What that twist could be remains to be seen, but /Film notes that her character is named "Agent Blake," which could also have some big implications. Edward Blake was The Comedian, and one big twist of Watchmen is the reveal that Laurie Juspeczyk (Silk Spectre II) is actually the Comedian's illegitimate daughter. Naturally, fans are now speculating that Jean Smart will be the older version of Laurie.

Here's the synopsis for Watchmen according to showrunner Damon Lindelof:


"This story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built… It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary. The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachev. Ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. And speaking of Horsemen, The End of the World is off the table…which means the heroes and villains – as if the two are distinguishable – are playing for different stakes entirely."

Watchmen is expected to debut sometime in 2019 on HBO.