Cast set for ‘Watchmen’

Crudup, Wilson, Goode added to WB feature

Warner Bros. has landed its Watchmen: Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson and Matthew Goode have gotten their hooks into Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the iconic “Watchmen” comicbook.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jackie Earle Haley and Malin Akerman have also landed key roles in the ensemble project, Snyder’s follow-up to “300.”

Helmer, who took on the project a year ago, will unveil the ensemble at Comic-Con, and rumors have been swirling about the casting for weeks. His presence is expected to set off a frenzy like that of last year, when he stoked enthusiasm for “300” at the confab.

Not to be outdone, the studio’s homevid division has planned a big party celebrating the DVD launch of “300” at Comic-Con.

Legendary Pictures is co-financing the pic, being produced by Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin with Deborah Snyder, and Snyder plans on using a similar greenscreen technique as he did with “300.”

“Watchmen” has taken decades to get off the ground. Based on Alan Moore’s 1980s comicbook series, the adaptation will be set in an alternate 1985 with plenty of Cold War overtones.

Crudup will play the fatalistic Dr. Manhattan, a role Keanu Reeves once eyed, while Wilson will portray Night Owl, a rich kid interested in birds.

Goode nabbed the part of the glamorous Ozymandias, a role once tagged for Jude Law, and Morgan has been cast as the Comedian, a Vietnam vet who’s a member of the Minutemen. Haley and Akerman round out the cast as Rorschach, a vigilante, and Silk Spectre, the key femme role.

The adaptation has bounced from studio to studio for years, with Fox, Warner, Universal, Revolution and Paramount trying to make a go of it before Warner took it on a second time. Paul Greengrass, Darren Aronofsky and Terry Gilliam are among the directors who once eyed the project.

Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin are producing with Deborah Snyder.

Crudup, who just won a Tony for “Coast to Utopia,” is skedded to start production Aug. 1 on “Pretty Bird” with Paul Giamatti.

Wilson most recently starred in “Passengers” and is currently shooting “Lakeview Terrace.” Goode most recently starred in “The Lookout” and is currently shooting “Brideshead Revisited.” Haley, who rocketed back into prominence with “Little Children,” has several projects in the works, including “Semi-Pro.” Morgan, best known for his appearance in “Grey’s Anatomy,” will appear in “The Accidental Husband.” Akerman next co-stars in the “Heartbreak Kid” redo and is known for recurring roles on “Entourage” and “The Comeback.”

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