Watchmen is a breakout hit for HBO and a big reason for all the commotion is how Damon Lindelof’s show avoids retreading a lot of the same beats from the original graphic novel. This was of course going to encourage some looks at how his treatment of the property differed from Zack Snyder’s adaptation. Some viewers’ eyebrows were raised by the American Hero Story conceit from the HBO show and its sort of parodying nature of more violent “adult” superhero content. Lindelof has said numerous times on the Official Watchmen Podcast that this is a mirror to the original graphic novel as the book had a comic book as a part of the meta-narrative. For the show, there’s a “show within a show.” Still, people might not know that if they didn’t hear it directly from the show runner’s mouth. So, during a recent interview with Variety, Lindelof decided to clear the air about his respect for Snyder’s work.
“I will always take responsibility for when I’m winking or insulting or trolling,” Lindelof begins. “There was no intentionality on my part to make fun of or take a shot at or troll Zack Snyder’s ‘Watchmen’ movie. I have a tremendous amount of affection for for Zack’s movie and for Zack himself. And I feel like if anything, the challenge of doing ‘Watchmen’ as a straight-up adaptation in the body of a three-hour movie is near impossible, and he did about as good of a job as anyone can.”
Before the show made its way to TV, Lindelof talked about what drew him to the project after Snyder’s movie. He said, “Watchmen – it was dangerous, and you can’t be dangerous for dangerous’ sake, but the reason that I’m doing this is these are dangerous times, and we need dangerous shows.”
Superheroes are everywhere and Lindelof is on record about how much the world needs Moore and Gibbons’ story now. His distrust of masks and the altruism that comes with vigilantes is something that is apparent from this season of television.
“What we think about superheroes is wrong,” he explained. “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.”