It’s been two months since HBO officially hired Lost and The Leftovers writer (and father of my children) Damon Lindelof to adapt Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s legendary graphic novel Watchmen.
Since then, much has happened in the big-budget TV industry – Disney announced a Star Wars TV show and Amazon paid $200 million for the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s works (and that’s before an estimated $100 million per season) – but there hasn’t been any word about TV’s most exciting project… until now.
Lindelof appeared at this week’s Vulture Festival L.A. where, during a discussion with The Good Place creator Mike Schur, he revealed that when he first read Watchmen, it felt “dangerous”, and that feeling played a big part in his decision to now tackle the material:
“Watchmen — it was dangerous, and you can’t be dangerous for dangerous’s sake, but the reason that I’m doing this is these are dangerous times, and we need dangerous shows.”
Damon’s late father, David – whose death was the inspiration for much of Lost’s storyline – sparked young Lindelof’s passion for comics: In the 1950s, Lindelof’s grandmother threw away David’s entire comic-book collection while he was away at camp. David vowed to re-create his extensive library — which included the famously controversial EC Comics that inspired the Tales of the Black Freighter story-within-a-story of Watchmen.
David cautiously gave Damon his first issue of Watchmen in 1985, and the 12 year old felt “It just crackled with electricity.”
Lindelof went on to say that people should be naturally suspicious of superheroes – “What we think about superheroes is wrong,” he said. “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 called Alan Moore “the greatest writer in the history of comics, maybe one of the greatest writers of all time — and 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.”
Now indeed is the time.
As Lindelof states above, don’t expect to see Watchmen much before 2019, IF it airs 🙁
I’ve just read failing Slash Film’s coverage of this news and the writer ends by stating “Only recently have heroes begun to seem hopeful again, and hope is something we could all use a lot more of these days. To backslide into the grim/dark territory doesn’t sound too promising”
The article writer obviously knows nothing of the graphic novel, Lindelof’s oeuvre and (in an effort to write something… anything) has misunderstood Lindelof’s statement of intent. Yes, like Lost and The Leftovers, Watchmen may end with a message of hope, but viewers are gonna be in for one hell of a shock on the dark and bumpy ride getting there!