Who Watches the Watchmen? HBO is hoping that the answer to that question is you.
The cable giant has given a series order to Damon Lindelof‘s authorized adaptation “remix” of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986 limited comic book series Watchmen. Described as “set in an alternate history where ‘superheroes’ are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own,” HBO is looking for a 2019 premiere.
— HBO (@HBO) August 17, 2018
Watchmen is just one of several new series for HBO, which is facing the final season of international hit Game of Thrones. Some of the projects receiving a series order recently include J.J. Abrams‘s Demimonde, Jordan Peele and Misha Green‘s Lovecraft Country, Joss Whedon‘s The Nevers, and Zendaya-starrer Euphoria.
During July’s Television Critics Association (TCA) press event, HBO programming president Casey Bloys was already optimistic about the series’ prospects. Though a series decision was still pending at the time, the cable head liked what he’d seen and wanted production to begin sooner rather than later if the pilot was picked up:
“I have very, very high hopes. They did a great job. Damon wrote a phenomenal script, and Nikki Kassell did an amazing job shooting the show. I think we see it in a few weeks. So, we’ll see.”
Two months earlier, Lindelof took to Instagram to update fans on his vision for the pilot (directed by Westworld and Castle Rock‘s Nicole Kassell, starring an ensemble cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson and Louis Gossett Jr.). Lindelof had emphasized from the very beginning that his vision was not a direct adaptation of the original graphic novel, but rather a “remix” that’s a completely new story yet utilizes important elements from the original story – and so much more:
“We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and 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.”
“This story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built…but in the tradition of the work that inspired it, this new story must be original. It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary. The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachev. Ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. And speaking of Horsemen, The End of the World is off the table…which means the heroes and villains–as if the two are distinguishable–are playing for different stakes entirely.”
“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 we will be taking our greatest risks…”