Damon Lindelof, showrunner of HBO’s upcoming Watchmen series, has candidly revealed new information about the show, including that it will be set in the present.
If you’ve read Watchmen, or even seen the movie, you’ll understand that it’s a product closely related to its time. The story is all about the Cold War and the heightened potential-doomsday tensions that surrounded it. So hearing that an adaption would shift the setting to modern day might worry you. But if you were worried about the series, Damon Lindelof understands, because he’s a fan too. Borrowing from Doctor Manhattan’s habit of recollecting nonlinearly, he took to his Instagram to share a rather lengthy letter to fans about what Watchmen means to him and what their mission with the show is,
The letter is, at the very least, interesting. At most, it’s exciting, as Lindelof is clearly a huge fan who respects the source material and only wants to build upon it rather than redesign it. Watchmen is perfect, and there’s no need to fix what’s not already broken. So instead, the show will take the events of the graphic novel and play around them.
We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and they will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted. They will, however, be remixed. Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we’d be fools not to sample them. Those original twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along, it did not erase what came before it. […] It all happened. And so it will be with Watchmen. […] To be clear, Watchmen is canon.
It sounds like the new series will take the events already established within the graphic novel and do new things with them, their aftermath, their causes, and the events around them. But to tell this new story, he said they need to update it as well.
The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachv. Ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. […] The tone will be fresh and nasty and electric and absurd.
Lindelof made it clear that it’s not a sequel. It will however, introduce new elements to the world. It won’t be about where Doctor Manhattan went after he left earth, or about what’s happening right now in DC Comic’s Doomsday Clock. It will, however, feature both new and old characters told through fresh perspectives. The pilot, for instance, is rumored to be centered around a police force.
Some of the characters will be unknown. New faces. New masks to cover them. We also intend to revisit the past century of Costumed Adventuring through a surprising, yet familiar set of eyes… and it is here where we’ll be taking our greatest risks.”
It’s an interesting letter that signals an interesting take on a beloved classic. We’ll have to wait and see what Lindelof and his writer’s room came up with. Are you excited for he Watchmen show? Still skeptical? Let us know @SuperBroMovies.