HBO’s picked up Damon Lindelof’s reworked take on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen for a full series, reports Deadline. This isn’t exactly surprising, given the positive things said by HBO executive Casey Bloys last month on the pilot – “They did a great job. Damon wrote a phenomenal script, and Nikki Kassell did an amazing job shooting the show.” – but it’s still nice to get confirmation that we’re actually going to watch the Watchmen.
Now that the network’s moving full steam ahead with the series, the particulars of what the show will be about should start becoming a little less fuzzy. At the moment, we know that the adaptation’s eager to disassociate itself with Zack Snyder’s 2009 big screen effort and is set to break new ground.
In fact, back in May, Lindelof wrote an open letter to fans in which he said:
“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. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with ‘Watchmen.’ The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica.”
The idea of a remix of the original story to make it more relevant to modern audiences is something which might appeal to Alan Moore, an author who’s repeatedly criticized live action adaptations of his work for missing the point by slavishly recreating the aesthetics without much attempt to understand the meaning.
The original Watchmen limited series was written and released in the shadow of the Cold War, fueled by 1980’s nuclear paranoia and materialism. If Lindelof can get under the skin of what makes the 21st century tick, then Watchmen could receive a whole new lease of life as a political statement. Whatever it turns out to be though, it’s safe to say it’ll be a damn sight better than the humiliation that DC Comics are currently putting the property through in the dreadful Doomsday Clock sequel.
Either way, the show has an impressive cast lined up, including Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Louis Gossett Jr. and Tim Blake Nelson, all playing mysterious characters that may or not be aged versions of Moore’s originals. Given that HBO’s apparently eager to get Watchmen on screens soon (most likely eyeing what will soon be a Game of Thrones-sized hole in their schedules), we should expect to see it at some point in 2019.