We first heard about HBO’s plans to adapt Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic comic series Watchmen into a series around this time last year but other than the news that The Leftovers showrunner Damon Lindelof would be behind it, we really haven’t learned much else about it since then.
In a very lengthy Instagram post, Lindelof has written an update for fans about his plans for the series and the one detail that really stands out is that this will not be a direct adaptation. Rather, Lindelof plans for it to be something of a remix.
“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.”
Lindelof also notes that the Watchmen series won’t be 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,” he said. “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.”
As someone who adored Lindelof’s work on The Leftovers, which itself took some considerable creative liberties with its source material, I’m totally on board with seeing what crazy directions the polarizing writer may take the Watchmen story. That being said, I can also understand Watchmen purists taking issue with a lot of what Lindelof is saying here. Regardless of your opinion, you should check out Lindelof’s entire, five-page-long post to get some insight into his creative process behind what is sure to be a pretty big project for HBO.
Stay tuned for more on “Watchmen Remix” as it becomes available.