HBO has scheduled an October premiere date for its Watchmen TV series. After shrouding the project in secrecy throughout its early development and production, the cable giant has slowly begun to pull the curtain back on their mysterious comic book adaptation. Watchmen is now confirmed to take place in the present-day version of the alternate universe introduced in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' touchstone comic book series of the same name - a place where masked vigilantes have been outlawed, the U.S. won the Vietnam War, and Richard Nixon served more than two terms as President.
The full-length Watchmen trailer released at San Diego Comic-Con in July revealed that, among other things, Dr. Manhattan is still around and living on Mars when the series begins, there's a violent cult inspired by the deceased Rorschach, and Adrian Veidt aka. Ozymandias (believed to be Jeremy Irons' role) has either died or recently faked his death. It's an intriguing setup for the rest of the show, which is being overseen by Damon Lindelof of Lost and The Leftovers fame. Now, HBO has set a concrete launch date for Lindelof's newest creation.
Per HBO's announcement, Watchmen is set to premiere on Sunday evening, October 20 at 9 p.m. EST. You can check out their motion poster confirming the date below.
Watchmen is arriving on the heels of Blumhouse's horror-thriller The Hunt, which Lindelof co-wrote and produced, being cancelled in the wake of the recent mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. It's since come to light that The Hunt is a satire of the current U.S. political landscape and includes explicit references to politically-loaded terms like "deplorables" and "elites". It sounds like Watchmen will be similarly satirical in its approach, with Lindelof having confirmed his plans to tackle issues like white supremacy and police brutality on the show. The series won't shy away from overtly political world-building either, like making Robert Redford the longest-serving POTUS in history by the time the show gets going. It may yet prove to be a faithful continuation of Moore and Gibbons' approach to exploring "What If?" scenarios through the lens of the Watchmen universe, in this regard.
Still, it will be interesting to see if Watchmen catches on with HBO viewers in large numbers. The Leftovers accumulated a pretty loyal cult following and fair amount of critical acclaim over its three season run, but it never achieved the crossover appeal of past HBO hits (much less, ratings juggernauts like Game of Thrones). Even Zack Snyder's Watchmen movie struggled to take off at the box office a decade ago, raising doubts about how much demand there really is for a TV sequel. Then again, the fact that Lindelof's show isn't a retelling - combined with its stabs at political relevancy - should help to attract those who are curious to learn more, at least in the beginning.
Watchmen premieres Sunday evening, October 20 at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.