Watchmen Showrunner Clarifies Robert Redford's Role in the Series

When the new series Watchmen premieres on HBO next month, it will finally give fans of the seminal DC Comics series their first glimpse at the world after Ozymandias faked an alien invasion and Dr. Manhattan seemingly abandoned humanity. The series will act as a sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons classic series, taking place after President Richard Nixon leaves the Oval Office after serving an unprecedented term as the leader of the United States. But instead of an alternate reality where someone like Ronald Reagan succeeds him, instead he'll be followed by another actor — Robert Redford will be serving as the U.S. President in the HBO series.

There were rumors that Redford himself would be appearing in the show, but executive producer Damon Lindelof has made it clear that they're only referencing the actor by name and that he's not appearing in the series yet.

"I’ve had a lot of reservations about a lot of the creative choices made in the show," Lindelof said to Entertainment Weekly. "I don’t think any of the choices were made without reservations and conversations and ultimately a decision. I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to defend every decision I made, but I’ll be able to explain why I made it. We had that conversation you’re suggesting. But the world of Watchmen is so heightened and so clearly it’s an alternate history that it will be clear to everyone we’re not talking about the real Robert Redford."

Lindelof also made it clear that Redford is not a scapegoat in this series, but much like the original Watchmen it's more an indictment of how the culture has failed the world and how nefarious forces can manipulate them.

"More importantly, the way we handle this story, you can’t blame Robert Redford for everything that’s happened in the world," Lindelof added. "The show says Redford has a liberal ideology, much like the actual Robert Redford, and he was incredibly well-intentioned in terms of the legislation he passed and the America that he wanted to create. But that doesn’t mean it worked out the way he wanted it to. And that’s not on him, that’s on us."

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Robert Redford last appeared on screen in Avengers: Endgame, reprising his role as Alexander Pierce from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While he's seemingly retired from acting, maybe Lindeloff can convince to appear in another comic book property one last time as the Commander in Chief of the United States.

Watchmen is set to premiere on HBO on October 20th.