Warning: Spoilers for Watchmen, Batman v Superman, and DC Comics Rebirth #1 to follow.
Long before he alienated fans with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder alienated fans with Watchmen, the 2009 film about retired superheroes tracking down a killer taking out their own kind. Both films raised many questions on their own, but a persistent one has been, "do the Watchmen exist in the DC Extended Universe?" The easy answer would be to say no. There has been no confirmation by anyone involved that the Watchmen are a part of the DCEU, but that doesn't mean they do not exist in the same universe. There has been plenty of speculation that the Watchmen are kicking around somewhere in the DCEU, and there is evidence to support this claim. Here is all the evidence that says the Watchmen are alive and well in the DCEU.
Of course, there will be a lot of speculation, and probably some nitpicking, but don't let that distract from the fun. It is also worth mentioning that this piece will not be arguing as to whether ZacK Snyder's Watchmen film is canonical in the DCEU, but whether the comic book characters are floating around in the DCEU somewhere.
The Watchmen Are Present In DC's Rebirth
In case you missed it, DC relaunched their comic book continuity in June. While avid readers knew to expect some big surprises, such as the existence of three Jokers, perhaps the biggest surprise from the issue is the introduction of the Watchmen to the DC Multiverse. Previously, they had just existed in their own separate universe, but the team at DC decided to include them in their company-wide relaunch. The burning question is why? There could be two explanations for this.
The first is by introducing Dr. Manhattan, they could be introducing a way of solving different universe problems in the DCEU. Second (which is the stronger reason), is furthering the shared aspects of their comic universe that will ultimately make it to film. Three movies in, the DCEU feels much more shared than the Marvel Cinematic Universe did three films in. Adding more shared elements to their comic books could help DC and Warner Bros. eventually have a more cohesive, shared universe on the big screen, that would include more characters than just their usual suspects of the Justice League, Suicide Squad, etc.
Watchmen Easter Eggs In Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice
The above photo comes from a blink-and-you-miss-it moment from the titular fight in Batman v Superman. The text reads "Quis Custodient Ipsos Custodes?" which can be translated from Latin to "Who Watches the Watchmen?" This may be Zack Snyder just throwing in a nod to his previous comic book movie, but it also could be evidence to their existence. One piece of evidence like this is not enough to prove the Watchmen's existence in the DCEU. To paraphrase Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, one Easter Egg does not equal a statistical trend. Luckily, there are two in Batman v Superman. Near the beginning of the movie, there is a billboard with graffiti that reads "The End is Nigh." If you are having issues remembering, Rorschach holds signs that say this in Watchmen. One doesn't equal a trend, but two might.
The Watchmen Easter Egg In Suicide Squad That Was Staring You Right In The Face
Watchmen's most famous motif is the blood-stained button worn by the Comedian. Do you remember that scene in Suicide Squad when the Squad is walking down a street in Midway City, looting shop windows they break through? When Deadshot steals a present for her daughter, what is in the background of the window? A gigantic smiley face. That smiley face could not have been an accident on the part of the filmmakers. It was a deliberate choice that acts as yet another Easter Egg in the DCEU that points to the existence of the Watchmen.
Zack Snyder Connecting Watchmen And The DCEU
Slow motion and Easter Eggs, that what Zack Snyder does. With Zack Snyder still helming DCEU movies (although he is rumored to have dropped out of the Justice League sequel), there is almost no doubt we will see more Watchmen Easter Eggs in the DCEU. 2016 has been quite the eventful year for a bunch of characters who hadn't really seen the light of day since 2009's Watchmen and all of the related promotional stuff.
With Easter Eggs in multiple films, plus a resurgence in the comic books, I believe it is no accident the Watchmen are being more and more teased by DC. It is only a matter of time before we see a new incarnation of them, whether it be on the big screen or the small screen. Zack Snyder has been in talks to develop a Watchmen television show for HBO. Whether it will be a part of the DCEU remains to be seen. However, I cannot help but think their inclusion in DC's Rebirth and the repeated Easter Eggs in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, the next time we see the Watchmen, they will be a part of the DCEU.
Watch the scene that started the whole chain of event in Watchmen below:
Do you think the Watchmen exist in the DCEU? Do you think they should? Would you go see another Watchmen movie or rather see them on the small screen? Take the poll and leave a comment!