morning Comic Con revealed the full line-up of events, and one of the movies being presented by Warner Bros is Watchmen. Zack Snyder will be on hand, and will most likely be making some casting announcements… and one of them will be Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan.

A very reliable source tells me that Snyder has settled on Crudup for the role of Watchmen’s only super-powered character, a scientist who accidentally gets annihilated on an atomic level and reconstructs himself into a big, naked, blue, floating demigod.

There have been a number of names going around for Dr. Manhattan, including Keanu Reeves (who supposedly wanted more money than Snyder et al would offer) and Jason Patric (the guy you get when Keanu turns you down), but I think Crudup is the best name yet associated with the role. Not only is the guy a truly gifted, terrific actor, he has long deserved a potential break-out role like this; Billy Crudup should really be much more famous than he is. And once you think of Crudup in the role, you can easily see how he’ll nail the humanity of Dr. Jon Osterman before the accident and the detached posthumanity of Dr. Manhattan.

Again, I would expect an official announcement at Comic Con, or the days leading up to it, but in the meantime, go rent Almost Famous and Jesus’ Son to get a look at who Dr. Manhattan is. By the way, a superhero film starring Patrick Wilson and Billy Crudup and Jackie Earle Haley? Could this be the first Oscar-contender superhero movie? Feels like it…