Fans of DC Comics’ seminal Watchmen are fiercely protective of the series. While artist Dave Gibbons has been open to adaptations and continuations, writer Alan Moore has been wholeheartedly against them. And with a new TV adaptation coming up from Lost and The Leftovers creator Damon Lindelof, fan expectations have been mixed.
Well, get ready to get simultaneously calmed and even more terrified. Lindelof took to Instagram today to post a five page, single-spaced, type-written note — the sort of thing Instagram was definitely invented for. In it, he talks at length about his history with the property, how it ties into his relationship with his father, and his concerns about adapting the work.
And then by the end, he drops several bombs that turn the whole thing on its end. He notes that the writer’s room is a healthy mix of “Hetero White Men” as well as women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. He also pledges that it will be the same on set and behind the camera, in order to provide new and challenging perspectives on the work. Good so far, right?
“But in the spirit of complete honesty, we also sorta want to… uh… Disrupt it?” Lindelof says.
He goes on to detail how they have “no desire” to adapt the twelve issue series, but instead it will be “remixed.” He refers to the show as the New Testament to the comics’ Old Testament. But at the same time, not a sequel, so much as a “new story” that’s contemporary, with different stakes. That includes “New faces,” Lindelof continues. “New masks to cover them.”
It also means that the multiple timelines in the book will be covered through a “new, surprising set of eyes.”
And I’ll be honest with: this sounds great. As Lindelof notes towards the beginning of his novella, “Watchmen” is a comic book work about comics. To make it function anywhere else, it needs to be different. Making a live comic misses the point (like some movie adaptations may have done). Yes, it makes me nervous, and it could be a disaster. But what if it’s not? What if it has something to say about the world today, and superhero fiction on film in the way Gibbons and Moore dissected and reinvented comics? That would be cool.
The HBO series is still a ways away, and we don’t even really know casting, or debut dates, or anything. All we know is there’s a pilot — and that’s it. But personally? This note makes me nervous, excited, and want to reread “Watchmen” all over again. Heh.
Read Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen Note, Here:
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