Speaking at a panel for Vulture Fest LA this weekend, Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek) discussed his in-development Watchmen TV adaptation at HBO, praising the source material and its writer, Alan Moore, in addition to teasing a "timely" TV series that takes an honest look at superheroes.
"Watchmen - it was dangerous," Lindelof said of the original 1986 comic. "And you can’t be dangerous for dangerous’ sake, but the reason that I’m doing this is these are dangerous times, and we need dangerous shows.”
Discussing the series' deconstructive take on superheroes, and what he aims to do with the series, Lindelof said, “What we think about superheroes is wrong. I love the Marvel movies and we saw Justice League this morning and I’m all for Wonder Woman and Batman and I grew up on these characters, but we should not trust people who put on masks and say that they are looking out for us. If you hide your face, you are up to no good.”
Lindelof also took some time to tout Moore as, “the greatest writer in the history of comics, maybe one of the greatest writers of all time," adding quite candidly, "he most certainly doesn’t want us to be doing this and we’re trying to find a way to do it that honors him … That comic was written in the mid-80s. It is more timely now, in 2018, 2019, whenever the show airs, if it airs, that it needs to be told. For a superhero junkie, I’ve never done a superhero movie or a superhero TV show, and now is the time."
Watchmen co-creator and artist Dave Gibbons is keeping a close eye on the development of the series, but isn’t directly involved. “I’m going to be interested to see what comes up,” he said recently. “If there is a way to make such things work, I’d like to see it.” Gibbons also made it very clear that he has no involvement with the show (at least at this point), stressing, “I really don’t know anything about it.”
Created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is the story of an alternate history in which superheroes first emerged in the 1940s, drastically altering the course of history. 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 Watchmen TV series does not currently have a release date.