When HBO announced their plans to make a TV series based on Watchmen with former Lost and The Leftovers showrunner Damon Lindelof at the helm many fans understood the intention; the comic series is one of the most revered titles in the medium, even if writer Alan Moore has since denounced his ties with DC Comics because of disagreements over it. But then it was revealed to be a sequel or "remix" of the original series, and the fan sentiment became somewhat confused. After all, DC's own attempts to add on to the canon with titles like Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock were met with mixed results. What could HBO and Lindelof possibly add?
"I ask my therapist that question on a weekly basis now. 'Why, why Watchmen?' First and foremost this is something I love and something that made a very profound impression on me when I read it when I was 13 years old," Lindelof explained, adding that he also wanted to tackle Star Trek and Alien stories, which he's had the chance to do.
He also revealed that he turned down two different opportunities to adapt Watchmen, admitting that he "knew the best job I could do adapting the original Watchmen was just being a really good cover band."
He added, "So is there a way to take this thing I love and be inspired by it, not erase it, but build upon its foundation? That depends on whether I have the right idea. The ideas started to come with what to do with Watchmen and then it didn’t really feel like a decision anymore but something I felt compelled to do. That sounds arrogant and full of hubris but when I haven’t made choices based on that feeling things haven’t turned out so well because then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. But when you get really inspired you have to chase it even if it leads to ruin."
Alan Moore has infamously been against any and all adaptation done of his work, among all of his other problems with DC Comics over the last couple decades. But Lindelof isn't letting his aversion affect how he approaches the series, and instead is channeling Moore's energy to tell this new story.
Watchmen premieres on HBO on October 20th.