“Watchmen” showrunner Damon Lindelof says he has been asked not to mention Alan Moore’s name — by the graphic novel creator’s own request. But that doesn’t keep Lindelof from wanting to pay homage to the originator of the story on which his new HBO drama is based.
“We are just trying to live up to making this ‘Watchmen’ worthy,” Lindelof explained at the New York Comic-Con panel for the show Friday.
Moore may not have involvement with the series, but comic artist Dave Gibbons, who collaborated with Moore on the 1986 book, appeared on the panel and spoke his support of the show. “There isn’t anything in this that contradicts the graphic novel. And to me it is an application of it, rather than a delusion,” he said.
Still, Lindelof admitted that he was initially “scared” of doing the adaptation, which led to him turning down two offers to work on such series. But then HBO approached him.
“It has an incredible emotional connection for me,” he said of the story. “After they asked me I started to get really jealous of the idea that they were going to do this thing without me.
“The thing that makes the original perfect was those 12 issues were designed and well-thought out,” he continued. “And it was very clear that there was a beginning, middle, and end in mind. There may have been a little bit of play in terms of the route, but they knew exactly what they were doing. We knew we had to do the same. So we plotted out these episodes. We knew exactly where we were headed. And every mystery, every question that we were asking had to be resolved.”
Set in an alternate timeline where superheroes and vigilantes are outlaws, “Watchmen” embraces some of the nostalgia of the original graphic novel’s story while also looking at a racially and politically charged present-day world. The show that is sprinkled with Easter eggs and takes on social injustice was as much of an exciting project to sign on for Lindelof, as well as his lead actress, Regina King.
The Oscar winner told the crowd, “It’s always been inside of me. I have always wanted to play a superhero.”
“Watchmen” premieres October 20 on HBO.