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Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen will be a ‘remix’ with original characters, not a remake

Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen will be a ‘remix’ with original characters, not a remake


‘The tone will be fresh and nasty and electric and absurd’

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Image: DC Comics

When The Leftovers creator Damon Lindelof brings his version of Watchmen to HBO, it will be as an original story with new characters, not a retelling of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel. “We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago,” Lindelof wrote in a lengthy letter on Instagram. “Those issues are sacred ground and they will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced not rebooted.”

The five-page letter touches on Lindelof’s personal connection to the series as well as his vision for his new spin on it. The original Watchmen is canon, he says, but the show will neither be a sequel nor a reboot. Rather, he likens it to being “remixed,” because “the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we’d be fools not to sample them.” The show will have a contemporary spin, with Lindelof checking off names like Trump and Putin. “This story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built ... but in the tradition of the work that inspired it, this new story must be original,” he writes. “It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens.”

Alan Moore has taken a hard stance over the years that he does not wish to see his work reproduced in any medium outside of comics, which Lindelof acknowledges in his letter. He reached out to Moore, he continues, “because I owed him an explanation as to why I’m defying his wishes.” That response (or non-repsonse), however, will stay between Moore and Lindelof. “Suffice to say, even before I sent it, Mr. Moore had made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want anyone to ‘adapt’ his work. To do so is hubris. Worse yet, it’s unethical.”

In addition to staffing a diverse writers room, Lindelof says, the team hopes to better represent those diverse experiences on-screen. “In [the writer’s room], Hetero White Men like myself are in the minority and as Watchmen is (incorrectly) assumed to be solely our domain, understanding its potential through the perspective of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community has been as eye-opening as it has been exhilarating.”