One of Watchmen’s writers explained his pitch for Hooded Justice’s identity on the HBO series. The identity of one of the more mysterious characters in the graphic novel is not something that most fans thought they would be getting out of the series. But Damon Lindelof and his team were looking to push the envelope from the word go. Cord Jefferson, the writer of “This Extraordinary Being”, joined the A.V. Club to talk about the decision. He told them he had to pitch the origin of Hooded Justice and immediately crafted something haunting out of Lindelof’s proposal that the vigilante was a Black man. The resulting episode is one of Watchmen’s most gripping and memorable entries.
“Damon came to the room with the idea that he wanted Hooded Justice to be Black. He didn’t know who that was going to be, or how that story was going to take shape. He just knew that he wanted Hooded Justice to be a Black man. That was his pitch,” he explained. “So we started with that premise and then worked backwards from there. He’s a fan of homework for writers, and one day he said, “Okay, pitch out how Hooded Justice might come to have a noose around his neck as part of his costume.”
Jefferson continued, “And so everybody went home and thought about that. The next day I came in with a pitch. It’s interesting in how you look at symbols and signs and stuff based on your context. I think that when a lot of people read the original Watchmen, they see Hooded Justice with the hood and the noose around his neck, and they probably assumed that it was an executioner or something.”
“But in my mind, when we’re looking at Hooded Justice and we’re starting with the premise that he’s a Black man, I think that there’s no way to look at this character as a Black man with a noose around his neck and not think that that screams racial violence,” he added. “And so I came in the next day and pitched that he would be a police officer who was lynched as retribution for trying to arrest a prominent white person in the community. Everybody liked that, and we went forward from there.”
Watchmen is currently available to stream on HBO Max.
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