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Watchmen Star Talks Doctor Manhattan Mega-Twist And ‘Liberating’ Full-Frontal Nudity

doctor manhattan watchmen hbo

Major spoilers below for the latest episode of Watchmen, so be sure and watch before reading on.

With its eighth episode, HBO’s Watchmen finally opened up a can of Doctor Manhattan worms, giving viewers long-awaited answers to questions we’ve had all season long. “A God Walks Into Abar” fully detailed Angela’s relationship with Doctor Manhattan, from their quirky flirting to that heartbreaking tragedy in the final moments. Granted, not everything got resolved, but that’s the nature of a Damon Lindelof HBO series.

Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II had his work cut out for him in the episode, having to flip from playing a compassionate husband and father to portraying the most powerful being in the entire universe. (At least so far.) The actor wasn’t aware of the Doctor Manhattan switcheroo when he was cast, but fully embraced the reveal once he understood what it all meant. In his words:

It was wild. Just reading it and realizing how all these things are connected, there’s a lot of plot holes to be filled when Episode 8 came together and started to connect things. This is a story about history, about race relations in America and inherited trauma passed down from generation to generation. But at its core it’s a love story. It’s a really beautiful revelation to step into Dr. Manhattan’s shoes and play those three versions of him.

That’s right, Watchmen fans, some congrats are in order for those who presumed it was Yahya Abdul-Mateen II doing the voice of Doctor Manhattan inside Eddy’s Bar in Vietnam. The actor confirmed that he did indeed provide the soft-spoken and introspective dialogue during Manhattan’s first conversation with Regina King’s Angela. According to Abdul-Mateen II, he combined the voices of show creator Damon Lindelof, Apple brainiac Steve Jobs and Yale Drama Dean James Bundy in order to find Doctor Manhattan’s detached vocal patterns.

hbo watchmen cal as doctor manhattan

Viewers will have to wait until the Watchmen season finale to see exactly what will happen with Doctor Manhattan, though Yahya Abdul-Mateen II says that the series’ recurring theme of “Nothing Ever Ends” hints that things might swing in the super-being’s favor in some way. That said, his comment does nothing to soothe worries about Seventh Kavalry’s potential to succeed with their teleportation scheme in some way. After all, it’s still not exactly clear what Senator Joe Keene would want to do with Doctor Manhattan’s powers, though we can easily assume that his actions would be racially motivated.

Speaking with EW, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II talked about how surprised and proud he his after all the vocal support for Watchmen shockingly twisting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic book so that Doctor Manhattan would be a black man. (And in a different way from how the show handled Hooded Justice’s reveal.) It’s interesting (though perhaps plot-necessary) that Keene & Co. obviously knew that Cal was Doctor Manhattan, yet refrained from showing any visible prejudice to the notion of such black supremacy. Here’s how Abdul-Mateen II put it:

Online I’ve been really surprised by how much people are moved by Dr. Manhattan living in the embodiment of a black man. People have been really moved. I didn’t see that coming. I was just playing the guy who happens to be the vessel but I’ve been noticing how important that is to people — to the see the possibility of a ‘god’ living in a black man. Especially in a world where the antagonists are a white supremacist organization. It’s really powerful imagery we’re putting forth and I’m proud to be part of that imagery of representation.

Through smart and clever writing, as well as engrossing cinematography, Damon Lindelof and the Watchmen creative team completely flipped the racial script on this well-worn narrative, and have since been wholly championed for it by critics and viewers. It’s certainly a different outcome from what plenty of other Hollywood projects face upon revealing gender-swaps and race changes. Again, though, it goes back to the writing.

Doctor Manhattan naked hbo watchmen

Say Hello To Doctor Manhattan’s Big Black Penis

Logically, if someone is going to take the time to figure out a way to turn Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan into a modern black American, it’s almost contractually obligated for that person to find a way to substitute Manhattan’s big blue genitalia for the stereotypically similar private parts of a black man. Lo and behold, Watchmen did it in Episode 8, and didn’t even bother with using Doctor Manhattan’s signature blue glow.

The key moment in question came when Doctor Manhattan paid a visit to Jeremy Irons’ Adrian Veidt in the latter’s Antarctic retreat. As viewers saw, the character clearly wasn’t affected by the cold weather, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II said it was liberating to be able to walk around the sets while nude. In his words:

I knew as soon as I heard I had to get into shape. My thought was this is HBO and it’s Dr. Manhattan so let’s step into it and have some fun. I got into the best shape that I could so I could look good. I’m playing a character who is above shame. He’s confident in who he is. It was fun for me to step into that space. I was joking in Aquaman I have a Black Manta suit, in Watchmen I have my birthday suit. . . . Walking around naked was so liberating. It felt really good! We had an intimacy coordinator — that’s something HBO does whenever there’s nudity involved. I always had a choice in how we would shoot the scene and what they would show. They made sure I was comfortable and that I always had the choice, even at the last minute on the day. They definitely took care of me.

More of Doctor Manhattan’s blue skin could be seen in the brief scenes on Europa as viewers grasped how memories from Jon’s youth informed the process of cloning Tom Mison’s Mr. Phillips and Sara Vickers’ Ms. Crookshank. But nowhere was the episode’s skin quotient more present than during Manhattan and Veidt’s important conversation. The show has now offered viewers a faux-Manhattan dong via Tom Mison’s stunt penis actor, a manufactured Manhattan dong via Laurie’s heavy metal dildo Excalibur (Ex-Cal Abar), and a non-blue official Manhattan dong. It’s as if Damon Lindelof thought of every loophole he could fill.

While waiting for the big Season 1 finale, anyone interested in checking out all the big comic book references that Watchmen has delivered so far can scope out our rundowns for Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7 and Episode 8.

Watchmen will air its Season 1 finale on Sunday, December 15, at 8:00 p.m. Be sure to watch and spread the word so that HBO knows how valuable a Season 2 renewal would be within the fanbase.


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Weekly Dope: Roddy Ricch, Fat Joe, Jay Electronica & More

With another seven days in the books, we’re back recapping the best in music with the 179th installment of our Weekly Dope playlist.

On the artwork this week, I decided to flip Fat Joe and Dre‘s Family Ties album cover with a mix of Roddy Ricch for delivering a solid debut in Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial, and Jay Electronica, Dave East and 070 Phi for their “No Hoodie (Nothin’ to Lose)” collaboration.

(Normally, I’d sequence the songs for a more natural listening experience,
but I just didn’t have the time to do it this week. My apologies.)

  1. Dave East, Jay Electronica & 070 Phi, “No Hoodie”
  2. Fat Joe & Dre, “Projects”
  3. Fat Joe & Dre, “Heaven & Hell”
  4. Roddy Ricch, “Boom Boom Room”
  5. Roddy Ricch, “Bacc Seat” f. Ty Dolla $ign
  6. Roddy Ricch, “Peta” f. Meek Mill
  7. Max B, “Ride On Em” f. Jadakiss
  8. Max B, “Goodbye” f. Cam’ron & Dave East
  9. French Montana, “Coke Wave Boys” f. Chinx & Max B
  10. KXNG Crooked, “East Side Libations”
  11. CJ Fly, “City We From” f. Conway
  12. Termanology, “Nobody” f. Eto & Tek
  13. Sean Price & Lil Fame, “Center Stage”
  14. CZARFACE, “Bizarro”
  15. Airplane James, “Lay Low ’19”
  16. Flatbush ZOMBiES, “Monica” f. Tech N9ne
  17. G herbo, “My Bro’s A Legend”
  18. Rich the Kid, “That’s Tuff” f. Quavo
  19. Camila Cabello, “My Oh My” f. DaBaby
  20. Please Wait, “Rush” f. Alayna
  21. Terrace Martin, “The Deuce”
  22. Lucky Daye, “Fly”
  23. Joël, “Disarm”
  24. Tame Impala, “Posthumous Forgiveness”
  25. Caribou, “You and I”
  26. August Alsina, “Today”
  27. Alayna, “Tender”
  28. Teyana Taylor, “We Got Love”
  29. Mayer Hawthorne, “Healing”
  30. Duke & Jones, “Burner” f. Sophie Strauss
  31. Emma Sameth, “Homesick”
  32. Allie X & Troye Sivan, “Love Me Wrong”
  33. JVSMINE, “Lonely”
  34. Brandon Banks, “Self” f. Mereba
  35. Yoshi Flower, “Falling Apart”

Updated every Monday morning, the playlist can be heard below and is available on Apple MusicSpotify, SoundCloud, and TIDAL.

Weekly Dope: Roddy Ricch, Fat Joe, Jay Electronica & More was last modified: December 9th, 2019 by Shake

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Todd Phillips Discusses Joker Sequel Rumors Following Golden Globe Nominations

As if it wasn’t already abundantly clear that Joker has been incredibly successful, the Golden Globe nominations came out this morning, and the Clown Prince of Crime’s origin story will compete in four categories in the next ceremony. Now that Joker’s been showered with even more accolades, does this mean there’s a stronger chance that it might get a sequel, which has been talked even before the movie came out.

According to director Todd Phillips, even though Joker is now surrounded by all this awards buzz, a decision still hasn’t been made regarding whether Arthur Fleck’s story will continue, let along any significant discussions. Phillips said:

Todd Phillips was among the Golden Globe nominees Variety talked with following the nominations announcement, with Phillips is competing in the Best Director category. As he laid out in his comment, he knew the movie would be something unique, particularly when it came to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Arthur Fleck, but he never attempted to predict how Joker would fare at the box office or if it would even walk away with awards buzz.

Cut to now, two months after Joker’s release, the movie has been a powerhouse in both regards. It’s soared past the $1 billion mark at the box office, and in addition to Todd Phillips’ Best Director nod, Joker will also compete in the Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Score categories at the next Golden Globes ceremony. But even with all this success, that doesn’t guarantee that Joker will get a sequel.

Before Joker’s release, the movie was positioned as a standalone, one-off story, and Todd Phillips said that it was not set up to have a sequel, though he and Joaquin Phoenix did toss some ideas around. But following Joker’s standout performance at the box office, the idea of delivering a sequel has been reexamined, and Phoenix seems game to reprise the eponymous role.

Last month, it was reported that a Joker sequel was in development, with Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver all expected to return. However, that report was soon debunked, and Phillips later clarified that while he and Phoenix have talked a little bit about a hypothetical Joker 2, no deals had been signed and nothing had been officially cemented. Clearly that hasn’t changed, though that doesn’t mean the idea of moving forward with Joker 2 has been tossed aside either.

Joker’s time in theaters is winding down, but you can watch the movie in the comfort of your own home when it drops on Digital HD December 17, followed by the Blu-ray and DVD copies hitting shelves on January 7. Joker will also be available on HBO Max when the streaming service launches.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any updates on the status of a Joker sequel, but in the meantime, plan your trips to the theater next year with our 2020 release schedule.

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Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” Music Video Is an Ode to Her Marching Band Roots

After literal years of bopping to the song, Lizzo has unveiled a brand new music video for “Good as Hell,” and it pays homage to her own marching band roots.

On Dec. 9, Lizzo put out the accompanying music video for the track, which originally came out in 2016 as part of her Coconut Oil EP (and had a different music video that year). To illustrate the fan-favorite bop, the Detroit-born singer took a page straight out of her own yearbook.

In the almost four-minute video, we follow the real stories of various black students at Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Southern University as they prepare for homecoming week. Featuring SU’s Human Jukebox marching band and Fabulous Dancing Dolls, Lizzo honors the tradition of marching bands in Black culture, and especially in HBCUs like Southern University. Lizzo isn’t the only person to reference marching bands in her work — who can forget Beyoncé and her momentous Coachella performance — but Lizzo seemingly drew from her own experiences in marching band, too.

“I was in marching band from eighth grade all the way up until college, the Cougar marching band at University of Houston,” Lizzo told NPR in 2016. “I was a piccolo player. I was the baddest piccolo in the land, ’cause I got big lungs. And I was really determined. I rented the flute, and I just started listening to James Galway and songs on the radio, really trying to sound good and be the best.”

Throughout the various situations in the feel-good video, we find Lizzo clad in her own twist on SU’s band uniform as she serves as conductor and confidant for the students. She also dances through the practice room, the bleachers, the field and even her very own custom “Lizzo” school bus — instances which, not-so-coincidentally, also seem to mimic Lizzo’s IRL experiences. “There was a lot of freestyling on the bus,” the singer also told NPR. “There was a lot of freestyling in the cafeteria, and there was a lot of freestyling on the radio.”

Watch the music video for “Good as Hell” below.

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Lizzo Transformed Herself Into a Bow for Her Jingle Ball Performance

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Valentino Pre-Fall 2020 Collection – Vogue

With one of the fashion world’s most sumptuous archives at his disposal, Pierpaolo Piccioli could easily get caught up in mannerist nostalgia or postmodern appropriation. But that attitude wouldn’t jibe with who he is. “There’s a big difference between reverence and respect,” Piccioli said from the vast Valentino studio in Rome’s historic Palazzo Mignanelli, where the pre-fall lookbook was shot. “Being reverent means keeping a certain distance from what the past represents,” he mused. “But the past must be reckoned with, because it’s part of your present, of who you are. You have to make it yours—it mustn’t be denied. The past must become a strength.”

Being at the helm of a historic house in a time when old values, social mind-sets, and visual codes are being questioned and challenged could have proved critical for Piccioli. But his clever, supple, and high-spirited approach has propelled Valentino’s haute couture into a stratosphere of extreme fabulousness, one that balances emotional delicacy and extravagance, poetry and excess. What makes his practice sensational—beyond the breathtaking technique of the house’s ateliers—is the feeling of humanity and openness of spirit that permeates it. These are inherent traits of Piccioli’s; they’re what keep his idea of a modern couture joyful and inclusive—even if it’s the most exclusive, privileged practice in fashion.

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Amazon’s Ring is making its first smart light bulb, FCC documents reveal

Amazon-owned smart home security company Ring makes a variety of smart lighting products. According to FCC documentation, the company is about to enter the replaceable bulb market dominated by companies like Philips Hue with a floodlight-style bulb, as spotted by tech writer Dave Zatz on Twitter.

There are not a lot of details on the new Ring light bulb, but the FCC filing does indicate that it’s got Bluetooth (which would make sense, given the “smart” designation). It’s not clear whether the new smart bulbs will feature some sort of built-in motion detector system or will simply rely on other Ring products for that.

Ring has previously made standalone lighting systems, though, like its floodlights and path lights, which feature integrated motion sensors and are designed to complement the company’s other security camera products. Those lights also need a $49.99 Ring Bridge accessory to link up with other Ring devices, but it’s unclear at this point whether the new smart bulbs will do the same.

The fact that Amazon is releasing the bulbs under the Ring brand — along with the floodlight-style bulbs — would seem to indicate that Amazon isn’t looking to directly compete with home lighting systems like Hue, at least for now. That said, once Amazon does start making smart bulbs, it’s easy to imagine that it might not stop at just outdoor, security-focused lights.

Amazon has yet to formally announce the new Ring bulbs, so there’s no price or release date yet, but with the bulbs clearing the FCC, it likely won’t be long until a more official reveal for the smart bulbs arrives.

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Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey out with tibia fracture

Western Kentucky star big man Charles Bassey will miss the rest of the season after suffering a tibial plateau fracture in Saturday’s win over Arkansas.

Bassey will undergo season-ending surgery on Tuesday and the rehabilitation process is expected to take 6-9 months.

Bassey, a 6-foot-11 sophomore from Nigeria, earned Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in Conference USA last season. He initially declared for the NBA draft, but withdrew his name at the deadline to return to the Hilltoppers.

Bassey earned preseason All-America honors from multiple outlets entering this season and was named to the preseason All-Conference USA team. Through 10 games, he was averaging 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Bassey had four double-doubles so far this season, including a 24-point, 12-rebound effort in a win over Fordham in late November.

He was a five-star prospect coming out of high school, ranked No. 18 in the ESPN 100 for the 2018 class.

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2020 Sunday Night Baseball schedule announced

ESPN announced on Monday the Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first half of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox lead the way with five games apiece, and the Chicago Cubs will be featured four times. The Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, and St. Louis Cardinals were each selected three times, while the reigning World Series champions Washington Nationals will not make an appearance.

Date Away Home Time (ET)
March 29 Cubs Brewers 7 p.m.
April 5 Dodgers Giants 8:30 p.m.
April 12 Cardinals Cubs 7 p.m.
April 19 Brewers Mets 7 p.m.
April 26 Mets Braves 7 p.m.
May 3 Cardinals Brewers 7 p.m.
May 10 Red Sox Yankees 7 p.m.
May 17 Yankees Astros 7 p.m.
May 24 Astros Red Sox 7 p.m.
May 31 Dodgers Mets 7 p.m.
June 14 Yankees Red Sox 7 p.m.
June 21 Red Sox Cubs 7 p.m.
June 28 Cubs Yankees 7 p.m.
July 16 Giants Dodgers 8 p.m.
July 19 Yankees Cardinals 7 p.m.
Aug. 23* Red Sox Orioles 7 p.m.

*Little League Classic

Games for the final months of the season will be selected two weeks in advance later in 2020.

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Broncos safety Kareem Jackson all business in return to Houston – NFL Nation

HOUSTON — Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson did his best over the past week to deflect questions about his return to Houston, the city he called home for nine seasons.

On Sunday, his actions spoke far more loudly than his words. Jackson, a first-round pick by the Texans in 2010, starred as he and the Broncos rolled to a 38-24 victory over the Houston Texans.

“He kind of put us in that spirit of that 2015 playoff run,” Broncos linebacker Von Miller said. “I said it [Saturday] night, let’s do it for KJ. … We did that for KJ.”

Jackson, who left the Texans in free agency last March without a contract offer, finished with a 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown, an interception, 11 tackles, three passes defensed and one attention-grabbing hit on Texans All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to break up a pass.

“I think you could say he had a hell of game,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said.

“Very emotional, especially once I kind of got here, got off the bus and starting seeing familiar faces,” Jackson said. “Been here for nine years and develop a relationship with pretty much everyone in the building. … I was excited to see everybody, but at the same time [I] had to keep my mind that it was a business trip.”

Jackson was all business right from his first tackle, when he stopped Texans running back Carlos Hyde for a 2-yard gain 2½ minutes into the game. He then turned momentum squarely in the Broncos’ favor.

On a first-and-10 play for the Texans from the Broncos’ 37-yard line with 3:52 remaining in the first quarter, Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson completed a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Keke Coutee. Coutee was hit by Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson, knocking the ball free.

The fumble was scooped up by Denver linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and Attaochu, who was in the grasp of a Texans player, handed the ball to Jackson, who sprinted up the Broncos’ sideline 70 yards for the score. Several Houston players looked somewhat surprised that officials had allowed the play to proceed. But the fumble and return were reviewed and upheld, giving the Broncos a 14-0 lead.

“I saw something grab [Attaochu], thought he was tackled and I could kind of see everybody relax,” Jackson said. “It was one of those plays they didn’t really know if it was an incomplete pass or a fumble. … I never heard the whistle, it was great awareness by Jerry to recover the ball. I was right there, he heard me.”

Jackson continued to get the Texans’ attention the rest of the way. His massive hit on Hopkins not only knocked the ball free, but also came on third down to end a Houston possession. He later stopped tight end Darren Fells for no gain on a third-and-1 to end another Texans possession.

After opening the season as the Broncos’ nickel cornerback because of injuries elsewhere, Jackson moved back to safety and has helped Denver maintain some consistency even as injuries have chipped away at the team’s pass rush.

The Broncos led 38-3 midway through Sunday’s third quarter, an impressive effort on the road against a Houston team that had defeated the New England Patriots the week before.

“I’ve gotten comments from a lot of people around the league and I have a couple really good friends on this [Texans] staff here, guys that wouldn’t B.S. me,” Fangio said. “They really are impressed with how hard our guys played. The energy, the intensity, and you know, it’s not a bunch of B.S., these guys have played their asses off all year from an effort standpoint, focus, try-hard and [I’m] really happy to see them get rewarded.”

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It was a brutal time

NEWARK, N.J. – Julia Louis-Dreyfus is pulling back the curtain on her time at “Saturday Night Live.”

Louis-Dreyfus, who was featured on the long-running NBC sketch comedy show from 1982 to 1985, opened up about what she called the “sexist” dynamics of the workplace during her stint.

“There were plenty of people on the show who were incredibly funny,” Louis-Dreyfus said to a packed house of more than 3,000 people at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. “I was unbelievably naive and I didn’t really understand how the dynamics of the place worked. It was very sexist, very sexist.” 

The revelation from the “Veep” star came in conversation with Stephen Colbert Saturday night at a fundraiser for Montclair Film, the New Jersey film and arts organization helmed by the late night host’s wife, Evelyn Colbert.

“People were doing crazy drugs at the time (on ‘SNL’). I was oblivious. I just thought, ‘Oh wow, he’s got a lot of energy,’ ” she said. “I don’t know how anybody could work stoned … It was a pretty brutal time, but it was a very informative time for me. “

Stephen Colbert and Julia Louis-Dreyfus attend the "Montclair Film Presents: An Evening With Stephen Colbert + Julia Louis-Dreyfus" at NJPAC on Dec. 7, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey.

‘SNL’:Jennifer Lopez rips off her tuxedo to reveal her iconic Versace dress

From that experience, the 58-year-old actress said she “learned I wasn’t going to do anymore of this show-business crap unless it was fun.”

“It is important, it’s so basic, but I just thought ‘I don’t have to do this,’ ” Louis-Dreyfus said. “I don’t have to walk and crawl through this kind of nasty glass if it’s not ultimately going to be fulfilling, and so that’s how I sort of moved forward from that moment. I sort of applied the fun-meter to every job I’ve had since and that has been very helpful.” 

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