There are few television producers who understand the weight of audience expectations the way Damon Lindelof does. Co-creator of Lost and The Leftovers, Lindelof's next big challenge is an adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' seminal 1986 comic Watchmen for HBO. Seven months after the cable network ordered the pilot, he has addressed what views can expect from what is, strictly speaking, not an adaptation.
"[Adapting] may be the right word, at the end of the day," Lindelof said on the Bookish with Sonya Walger podcast. "Do you watch Fargo at all? I wouldn't call Noah Hawley's version of Fargo an adaptation, because the movie exists inside of his world, and so everything that happened in the movie Fargo, it does precede the television show Fargo. So they find a bag of money in the first season, and you go, 'Oh, that came from the movie.' But it's also, Noah is pulling from other areas of the Coen brothers' canon, so it evokes like Lebowski, but it's also his own thing."
Drawing a parallel to Hawley's acclaimed FX anthology series may indicate that viewers should set aside any expectations to see the storyline of Watchmen play out. Then again, by not calling it a "follow-up" series it's difficult to know if the series will take place after the events of the comic. One potentially significant implication is that the characters of Watchmen may not be central to the show.
Beyond the comic already being adapted for film by Zack Snyder, Lindelof has another good reason to avoid a strict interpretation of Watchmen: Moore is famously against the idea. "I think it's widely known that Alan Moore does not want Watchmen to be adapted," Lindelof acknowledged, "so I'm playing a bit of a game of semantics here in saying, 'I'm not adapting Watchmen!'"
(via Cinema Blend)