Watchmen's King of Kings, Ozymandias, is dead. Or at least he will be in Damon Lindelof's new HBO series, which is set in the Watchmen universe. Lindelof, who co-created Lost and The Leftovers, only has a pilot order for his Watchmen series with HBO. However, the writer is hard at work in creating the next chapter in the dark superhero universe.
The showrunner has confirmed that his series will not adapt the original graphic novel. According to Lindelof, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen will be treated like the "Old Testament" of the series and canon. This suggests that the series will (mostly) take place after the events of the original story. In that period of time it seems like Adrian Veidt A.K.A. Ozymandias will have died or wants everyone to think that he is dead.
The news of Ozymandias' passing comes from set photos of the Watchmen series, uncovered by/Film. On the set, a newspaper can be seen. The headline of the paper boldly declares that "Veidt Officially Declared Dead."
On the surface this seems to confirm that Ozymandias won't be around by the time of the Watchmen series beginning, having died shortly before the events of the series. Yet it's possible that it suggests much, much more about the series.
As a quick refresher the original Watchmen ends with Ozymandias saving the world ... by killing 3 million people. During the course of the story, Adrian Veidt comes up with a scheme to stop the Cold War and rising nuclear tension by creating a fake alien attack. This culminates in the decimation of New York City where millions of innocent people die. However, the threat of a common (outside) foe brings down the countries of the world and ends the potential nuclear holocaust. However, according to this paper Veidt won't be around to see the fruits of his labor in Watchmen TV series, whenever it might take place.
The following should be taken with some grains of salt because it's all speculation. There's a possibility that headline will never be shown clearly on camera and that is more of a fun Easter egg for fans. Yet assuming the headline is real, it does tells us quite a lot about HBO's Watchmen.
If Adrian Veidt is gone that might completely change the world of Watchmen. Ozymandias isn't just humanity's "savior," he's a hugely successful businessman and influencer. If he's gone, there could be a huge power vacuum in the world of Watchmen without Veidt and/or the secret of what happened in New York City could also come out, if it's not out there already. Although based on the paper's accompanying headline that seems unlikely.
Next to the headline about Ozymandias' passing, there's a smaller article about a "Boise Squid shower." Watchmen fans will remember that Ozymandias uses a gigantic squid-like creature as his fake alien invaders. Perhaps the New York City attack of Watchmen wasn't enough to provide lasting peace. To keep up appearances, Veidt could've orchestrated multiple fake Squid alien attacks. If Ozymandias is truly gone, that also means that these alien attacks could stop as well, which create even more intrigue around the original character's demise.
Of course, there's also a chance that Veidt isn't actually dead at all. Instead the supergenius might've faked his death, for any number of reasons. The headline does seem to suggest there was some manner of mystery or confusion surrounding Veidt's end as he's been "officially declared dead." If Ozymandias came to much more simple or natural end, the headline would likely be much different.
Again this is all just guesswork and theorizing. The only thing that can be stated with any amount of confidence is that HBO better pick up Watchmen to a series - if no other reason than so the fact that all the many questions about the project can be answered.