HBO’s latest adaptation of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Watchmen, reveals some footage that looks glorious.
Alan Moore’s Watchmen can be considered one of the best graphic novel stories of all time. Released in 1988, it was a graphic novel that legitimized the literary significance of comic books decades before they made it into the mainstream through comic book movies. DC Comics have tried to bank on their success by recently creating spin-off or ancillary stories to the original Watchmen, with varying levels of success. The original, however, still remains a classic.
The one and only live-action adaptation of Watchmen ever, came with Zack Snyder’s feature film which met with extreme reactions on both sides of the spectrum. Despite his creative liberties with the source material, I don’t think anyone else could have adapted Watchmen into a movie, as adeptly as Snyder did. The thing with Watchmen is, that the fandom is so strong, any attempt to adapt it will create strong emotional reactions. Which is probably why the new series veer completely away from trying to adapt any existing source material for the series.
When HBO announced their own adaptation by Damon Lindelof, I was immensely excited for this new version, even more so after the new footage that we were just treated to. HBO just released a sizzle reel of their shows for 2019, which contained the first ever footage of the new adapted Watchmen series.
The footage is incredibly brief but gives us a lot to discuss. Firstly showing a still desperate state of things as we notice men with latex masks, a presence of many armed men, and most importantly, a glimpse of Jeremy Iron’s playing a much older Ozymandius. This seems to confirm that this new Watchmen series will be set decades after the original events and not be restricted to the canon material that’s already been written. Meaning that the HBO series will be entirely original stories not based on any comic book material. Lindelof assures fans, however, that the series will retain the essence and soul of the original.
**Spoilers for original Watchmen graphic novel and movie follow**
Fans may remember that the character of Ozymandias was the antagonist of the original story. So it should be interesting to see how this character is utilized in the new series. Will he be attempting redemption? Although that assumes that he even feels guilty for his actions in the first place. The biggest surprise, however, is the reveal of a character who looks to have a mask similar to that of Rorschach. The original Rorschach was killed in the third and final act of the story by the God-like Dr. Manhattan. So it should be interesting to see who this new character is.
HBO’s Watchmen series has an impressive cast thus far, including Jeremy Irons, Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Don Johnson, Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Frances Fisher, and many more. Damon Lindelof is the infamous creator and writer of shows such as Lost and The Leftovers, and can easily be described as one of the most polarizing creators ever. His shows always seem to either result in fandoms worshiping his talents, or burning effigies in his name. However, his style of deep and layered storytelling should fit the tone of Watchmen, given that it too is a deeply complicated story featuring politics, economics, and complexities much beyond the superficial.
HBO’s Watchmen series premieres in 2019.