It was just over one week ago that the first set photos for HBO and Damon Lindelof’s upcoming Watchmen television series surfaced, featuring Don Johnson suited up as a police officer. However, a whole new batch of photos has since emerged, hinting not only at the grim state of affairs in the gritty Watchmen universe but also the death of a major character from the comic book source material.
The photos, which were shared by /Film, kick off with a newspaper headline declaring Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias, dead — a drastic departure from the character’s arc in the comics. This is followed by photos of signs for alien shelters to protect innocent civilians from Veidt’s squid-like beast, as well as a shot of a taxi featuring a newly designed American flag.
While the notion of a character such as Ozymandias being killed off in the upcoming series might come as a shock, it certainly falls in line with Lindelof’s remarks about the show not being a conventional adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal 1986 miniseries.
“We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. [Alan] Moore and Mr. [Dave] Gibbons created thirty years ago,” Lindelof wrote. “Those issues are sacred ground and they will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted. They will however be remixed. Watchmen is canon. But we are not making a ‘sequel’ either. 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.”
Created by Moore and Gibbons, Watchmen is the story of an alternate history in which superheroes first emerged in the 1940s, drastically altering the course of history over the subsequent decades. Set in 1985, as the United States and the Soviet Union inch ever closer to World War III, the comic centers on the investigation into the murder of the former costumed government agent The Comedian, which leads to the discovery of a deadly conspiracy to defuse the powder keg and bring peace to the world at the expense of millions of lives.
The upcoming HBO series will be the second time the graphic novel was adapted for the screen, following Zack Snyder’s 2009 film. The Watchmen have also been introduced into the main DC Comics continuity in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock, giving the renowned graphic novel’s characters even more mainstream exposure ahead of the television series.
While there has been no announced start date for Watchmen, the first season is expected to begin filming this year.
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