Damon Lindelof has confirmed that his Watchmen series for HBO won't adapt the 12-issue iconic comic miniseries. It also, by consequence, won't be an adaptation of Zack Snyder's film from 2009. Lindelof - who was behind acclaimed TV series such as Lost and The Leftovers - is aiming to do something entirely new with the license.
In a very long Instagram post - so long in fact that all of it isn't even visible in the embed below - the writer details his almost life-long history with Watchmen. The original story is something the famous showrunner feels is very sacred. It's for this reason that he feels his TV story "must be original." Yet Lindelof and crew won't be ignoring what happened in the source material.
"We have no desire to to 'adapt' the twelves issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago," Lindelof writes, in a portion of the post not visible below. "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 ... To be clear. Watchmen is canon."
Lindelof makes evident that everything that happened in Watchmen will happen (or has happened) in the TV series. All the big events will be present, including the jaw-dropping ending. At the same time the HBO series isn't a sequel. This isn't just because DC Comics is currently publishing an ongoing series called Doomsday Clock, which is a sequel to Watchmen. In fact, Lindelof doesn't seem to be at all concerned with Doomsday Clock. The HBO series will be its own beast, although still set in the same universe as the original graphic novel.
Lindelof even teases that the series might not stay in the same time period. According to the writer, there will be "new faces. New Masks to cover them." The series will also explore the past, through "surprising, yet familiar sets of eyes." Though Lindelof doesn't seem to outright say it, it seems like his Watchmen adaption will be part sequel, part prequel and probably even be concurrent with some events of the source.
Damon Lindelof, being Damon Lindelof, is still a little vague and mysterious on the details. There's nothing too crazy confirmed, or even denied, in his Instagram post. Yet the picture the writer paints is that the series will take all the themes, tone and world of Watchmen and craft into a story that comments on the original while still relating to present day. As much as the original Watchmen was about the Regan era of American history, the TV series will seemingly be about the modern day Trump era.
The whole project sounds incredibly ambitious, weird and just a tiny bit confusing. Yet that's exactly how a Watchmen adaptation should sound. The only way the series is really going to make any amount of sense is when it's released and fans have a chance to pick apart and dissect every frame.
Lindelof has been taken to task by certain fans many times, not only for his work on Lost but the divisive Alien prequel Prometheus. That said, he might be the perfect person to tackle a Watchmen series. His previous series, The Leftovers - which also took a novel and "remixed" it - hits on a lot of the same heavy themes as Watchmen. While Watchmen hasn't been picked up to series yet, with all the buzz surrounding the project, it would be shocking if Lindelof's ambitious take didn't make it to the small screen.
Source: Damon Lindelof