Now that HBO‘s pseudo-sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ celebrated comic book series Watchmen has been unveiled to the world – it seems the world’s liking what they’re seeing so far from Damon Lindelof‘s “remix”. Even die-hard Watchmen purists appear to be slowly coming around – and they should.
Bleeding Cool didn’t exactly pull any punches when praising just how powerful the Nicole Kassell (Castle Rock)-directed series premiere “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” was (check out our review here) – and now that we’re heading into next episode “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship”, viewers are being assigned a little “homework” to better prepare them for what’s ahead:
● First up, we have “Peteypedia” – a website we’re guessing will serve the role that the end of each issue played in Moore and Gibbons’ comic book series: background history and context to what we’ve already seen.
From the title of the site alone, it’s safe to say that we’re looking at files from Dustin Ingram‘s Agent Dale Petey – with the first “file” delving into the nation’s “techphobia” and how the police are slowly bringing computers back; some historical perspective on both Bat Reeves and Tulsa, Oklahoma; a news clipping that fills in the gaps of Adrian “Ozymandias” Veidt’s past post-NYC slaughter; and Agent Petey’s detailed thoughts/analysis of Rorschach’s jounal – and why its relevance to the Seventh Kavalry… and more (all images copyright HBO):
● Next up, our friends at Apple TV posted a brief behind-the-scenes look at the series’ alternative take on U.S. history, with Lindelof and Kassell:
"You’re not entirely sure where real history ends and alt-history begins.”
Go behind the scenes with the creators of @Watchmen to learn how they brought the comic book to life.
Watch the premiere now from @HBO on the Apple TV app. https://t.co/HS7Q5WtbRH pic.twitter.com/JTGqo4jBCE
— Apple TV (@AppleTV) October 21, 2019
Here’s a look ahead at what we can expect this season – and from the looks of things, our future involves more squid, “The Lord” (Jeremy Irons) acting a little more Ozymandias-like, a conspiracy that pulls Angela/Sister Night (Regina King) deeper down the rabbit hole – and a Dr. Manhattan who fancies a pint?
The Road to HBO’s “Watchmen”
From Damon Lindelof and set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, this drama series embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. The cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk.
In the following featurette, Lindelof explains how the original comic book series influenced him to take the core themes of the series and find a way to apply them to a modern society. King offers more details on both the terrorist group at play during the season as well as the personal conflicts that arise when one dons a mask in the name of the law:
In the following clip, King takes us behind the scenes on production with a set visit to show us anything and everything Watchmen – or at least what Lindelof will allow:
HBO’s Watchmen stars Regina King as Angela Abar, Don Johnson as Chief Judd Crawford, Tim Blake Nelson as Det. Looking Glass, Louis Gossett Jr. as Will Reeves, Adelaide Clemens as Pirate Jenny, Andrew Howard as Red Scare, Jeremy Irons as Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias, Frances Fisher as Jane Crawford, Jacob Ming-Trent as Panda, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Cal Abar, Adelynn Spoon as Emma Abar, and Jean Smart as Agent Blake – as well as Tom Mison as Mr. Phillips, Sara Vickers as Ms. Crookshanks, Dylan Schombing, and Lily Rose Smith.
Joining the series in recurring roles are James Wolk as Senator Keane, Hong Chau as Lady Trieu, and Dustin Ingram as Agent Dale Petey.
Watchmen is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television; executive producer-writer Lindelof; executive producer/director Kassell; executive producer Tom Spezialy; executive producer-director Stephen Williams; and executive producer Joseph Iberti.
Based on the iconic graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Gibbons and published by DC.
Nine Inch Nails duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are on board to compose music for the series.
In May 2018, Lindelof shared a series of Instagram posts to update fans on progress on the project (with a pilot directed by 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…”