One thing you can say about HBO: they know how to make the most of an opportunity. As if the final season of Game of Thrones wasn’t enough to cause eyeballs around the world to explode, the cable giant is also using the last season to highlight the cabler’s future – giving us a fresh (but brief) new look at Damon Lindelof‘s authorized “remix” of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic 1986 comic book series Watchmen.
Set in an alternate history where “superheroes” are treated as outlaws, the series is said to embrace the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own.
Here’s a look at HBO’s 2019 Coming Soon: The World We Made, which includes a few more tantalizing moments from the upcoming “adaptation” – in particular, a look at Don Johnson in-character as well as some previous scenes with some subtle differences and clarity:
On the same day as the Oscars, HBO released a “coming soon” teaser video “HBO ’19: It All Starts Here,” which gave us a look at Jeremy Irons‘ older Adrian Veidt aka Ozymandias blowing out a candle on a very interestingly shaped cake (doesn’t that look almost exactly like…???); Regina King looking at something with a mix of disbelief and concern; and what we’re assuming is a “mask” who appears to be authorized by whoever the yellow-rockin’ police officers represent (starting at the 1:05 mark):
HBO’s Watchmen includes Irons an older Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias; Tim Blake Nelson as the interestingly-named Looking Glass, and Jean Smart as FBI Agent Blake. King, Johnson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, James Wolk, and Hong Chau also star.
Nine Inch Nails duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are on board to compose music for the project.
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 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…”