With Damon Lindelof‘s authorized adaptation “remix” of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic 1986 limited comic book series Watchmen from DC Comics set to premiere on HBO in 2019, fans are beginning to get some more details on what they can expect. Television/film website iFilm is reporting that actor Jeremy Irons is set to play an older version of Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias aka the chief antagonist/protagonist (debate!) of the original comics series. In addition, Jean Smart (Fargo, Legion) is joining the cast as an FBI agent assigned to track down vigilantes – with a name that should raise some eyebrows: Agent Blake.
Edward Blake. The Comedian. Discuss!
The cast for HBO’s Watchmen also includes Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk.
In May 2018, Lindelof shared a series of Instagram posts to update fans on progress on the project (with a pilot directed by Westworld and Castle Rock‘s Nicole Kassell – and to emphasize that his vision was not a direct adaptation of the original graphic novel, but rather a “remix” that’s utilizes important elements from the original story while telling its own narrative. Here are some excerpts from those posts:
“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…”