HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ Pilot Casts Regina King, Don Johnson, Four Others

Damon Lindelof’s “Watchmen” pilot at HBO has set a number of actors in key roles, Variety has learned.

Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, and Andrew Howard will all appear in the series, with King in the lead role. King previously appeared on “The Leftovers,” the HBO drama series co-created by Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, based on Perrotta’s novel of the same name.

The exact details of their characters are being kept under wraps. Lindelof on Tuesday posted a letter to fans in which he laid out his vision for the series, which he said will not be a re-telling of the story from the original graphic novel, but rather a new story in the same world with new characters set in the present day.

“Some of the characters will be unknown,” he said. “New faces. New masks to cover them. We also intend to revisit the past century of Costumed Adventuring through a surprising yet familiar set of eyes…and it is here we will be taking our greatest risks.”

In addition to her role on “The Leftovers,” King’s other notable television roles include starring in the critically-acclaimed Netflix series “Seven Seconds,” TNT’s “Southland,” and the ABC anthology drama “American Crime,” the latter of which won her two Emmys. She has also appeared on shows like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Shameless,” “The Strain,” and lent her voice to the animated series “The Boondocks.”  She has also appeared in films like “Jerry Maguire,” “Ray,” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.”

She is repped by ICM and Carrabino Management.

Johnson is best known for his starring roles in the cop shows “Miami Vice” and “Nash Bridges.” He was twice nominated for a Golden Globe for his work on “Miami Vice,” winning one in 1986. He also recently appeared in films like “Book Club,” “Django Unchained,” and “Machete.” He also recently starred in the ABC drama series “Blood & Oil.”

He is repped by CAA and Edelstein Laird and Sobel

Nelson has appeared in well over sixty feature films, including Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line,” and the Coen Brother’s “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Later this year, Netflix will release the Coen Broters series “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” in which Nelson stars in the title role.

He is repped by UTA, Gateway Management, and attorneys Marc Glick and Steven Breimer.

Gossett is a highly-respected performer with an onscreen career spanning sixty years. He was the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as drill Sergeant Emil Foley in “An Officer and a Gentleman” opposite Richard Gere.  Among his other awards are an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Fiddler in the ABC series “Roots” and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for “The Josephine Baker Story.” He has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, one Academy Award, five Images Awards, and two Daytime Emmy Awards throughout his career.

He is repped by Zero Gravity Management and Bobbitt & Roberts.

Clemens is an Australian actress who began her career over a decade ago on the acclaimed Australian television show “Love My Way.” She was recently seen in the AMC series “Rectify” and the HBO miniseries “Parade’s End.” Her film credits include Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” “The Automatic Hate,” and several other independent films.

She is repped by UTA, Mosaic, and The Artist’s Partnership in the UK.

Howard was recently seen in his recurring role in Sony/Crackle’s “The Oath” as well as NBC’s “The Brave.” He also appeared as ”Bad” Frank Philips’ in the AMC Emmy award-winning series “Hatfields & McCoys” opposite Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton. He has also appeared on shows like “Agents of SHIELD,” “Hell on Wheels,” and “The Blacklist.” His film credits include “Limitless,” “Taken 3,” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

He is repped by Link Entertainment and ICM Partners.

Lindelof serves as writer and executive producer on “Watchmen,” with Tom Spezialy also executive producing. Nicole Kassell will executive produce and direct the pilot. “Watchmen” is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television.

More TV

  • What to Watch on TV This

    What to Watch on TV This Week: ‘Picard' Premieres and 'Shrill' Returns

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Star Trek: Picard” beams into existence on CBS All Access and “Shrill” returns [...]

  • SAG Awards 2020: What You Didn't

    SAG Awards 2020: From Charlize Theron to 'Parasite,' What You Didn't See on TV

    Brad Pitt made a crack about his marriages. Robert De Niro got political. And Jennifer Aniston talked about appearing in a commercial for Bob’s Big Boy. Those were just some of thing that happened on stage at the SAG Awards that were broadcast on TNT/TBS on Sunday night. However, Variety was inside the Shrine Auditorium [...]

  • Edges Unknown

    TCB, Cineflix, All3Media Announce Sales Ahead of NATPE Miami

    Miami’s NATPE market kicks off on Tuesday, but deal announcements are already landing. London-based TCB Media Rights has sold 130 hours of content to Latin America, Cineflix and National Geographic Latin America closed a deal for four titles, and Discovery Latin America picked up popular makeover format “10 Years Younger” from All3Media. TCB’s 130 Hours [...]

  • U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas

    U.K. Broadcaster Channel 5 Readies Thomas Markle Documentary

    ViacomCBS-backed U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 will air a 90-minute documentary on Meghan Markle’s father Thomas Markle. Markle and her husband Prince Harry sparked a global media frenzy earlier this month with their decision not to continue as senior members of the British Royal Family. Buckingham Palace announced that the couple are to lose their royal [...]

  • Tony Hall BBC Director General

    BBC Boss Tony Hall Lands at U.K.'s National Gallery

    BBC director general Tony Hall has been appointed chair of the board of trustees of the National Gallery. The executive, who has served on the Gallery’s board since November, takes over as chair from Sir John Kingman, who has been interim chair since Hannah Rothschild stood down from the role in September. Hall said: “The [...]

  • Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave'

    Fox TV Stations Greenlight 'Central Ave' From Will Packer, Debmar-Mercury

    Fox Television Stations has ordered the weekly entertainment news magazine “Central Ave,” which hails from prolific film and TV producer Will Packer and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. Debmar-Mercury and Will Packer Media will produce two half-hour shows per week of “Central Ave,” which tackles pop culture and other topics from a “socially conscious and diverse lens,” per [...]

  • Frontrunners Emerge As BBC's Tony Hall

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content