Damon Lindelof, the creator of HBO's upcoming Watchmen series, aims to leave the superhero drama's tackling of real-life, hot button issues open to interpretation.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lindelof was asked: "I think perhaps your boldest move I’ve heard about so far is [series star] Regina [King] said about in an interview we did that you’re not only diving into very hot button topics but you’re handling them in such a way that viewers can read whatever they want into their meaning. You’re avoiding moralizing at a time when popular entertainment is terrified of being misunderstood because there’s such a willingness online to accuse artists of bad intentions. Is that an accurate read? And does that kind of freak you out?"
The producer replied, "The read is completely accurate and yeah it freaks me out. But when I’m freaked out is when I get excited. I can’t write or create from a nervous scared space. If you stop and try to talk yourself out of doing something that might be upsetting or might make people onerous or confused or uncomfortable you’re never going to do anything interesting."
From there, Lindelof further emphasized the importance of taking risks with Watchmen. "You have to jump in with some degree of forethought and responsibility and then afterward you can ask yourself why you did it," he said. "The time for contemplation is not at the edge of the diving board because going back down the ladder is worse than the distance to the pool.
"I also kind of feel like, unfortunately, we live in a space where hate runs rampant not just on the internet but in real life and it’s important to remind ourselves this is a TV show," he continued. "It is not real. Although it is dealing with real issues and it’s meant to generate and provoke conversations and emotions we have to contextualize that this is fiction."
Lindelof has made no secret of the fact that HBO's Watchmen -- much like Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' original graphic novel, is innately political in its content. However, he has also made it clear he is more than willing to take risks with the property. This evidently includes trying to provoke thought among audiences, rather than provide simplified answers to the show's tough questions.
Developed by Damon Lindelof, HBO's Watchmen stars Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tom Mison, James Wolk, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith and Adelynn Spoon. The series will premiere Oct. 20.