More than a year after it was first announced, HBO’s Watchmen show is finally in production. The new take on the classic DC limited comic book series has Lost’s Damon Lindelof as showrunner and is set to premiere in 2019. The first images from the show have now been released.
We know that this version of Watchmen won’t be a straight adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s original, and these first pictures certainly show that. They were posted on Instagram by the series’ official account and show a mysterious yellow-masked police force, with the captions “masks save lives” and “hiding in plain sight.” Check one out below, and the other here.
Watchmen’s cast includes Jeremy Irons (The Lion King), Don Johnson (Django Unchained), Tim Blake Nelson (The Ballad of Buster Skruggs), Regina King (The Leftovers), Jean Smart (Legion, Fargo), and Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow). Lindelof’s acclaimed drama The Leftovers was also screened on HBO, and concluded its third and final season last year. His other writing credits include the movies Prometheus and Star Trek Into Darkness, and he was the co-creator and joint-showrunner of Lost.
Im June, Lindelof wrote a lengthy post explaining why he chose to take on the Watchmen show, explaining that he had no intention of making a straight adaptation. “Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted,” he said. “They will however be remixed. We are not making a ‘sequel’ either. 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.”
Lindelof also revealed that the show has a diverse team of writers behind it. “In [our writers’] room, Hetero White Men like myself are in the minority,” he said. “And as Watchmen is (incorrectly) assumed to be solely our domain, understanding its potential through the perspectives of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community has been as eye-opening as it has been exhilarating. We’ve committed to doing the same in front of and behind the camera. And every single person involved with this show absolutely adores Watchmen.”
Watchmen was first published by DC in 1986 as a 12-part limited series. It was written by Moore and illustrated by Gibbons and is widely considered to be one of the greatest comic books ever released. It helped usher in a new, more mature approach to mainstream superhero comics, and in 2005, it was featured on Time’s list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century.
A film version was in the works for many years before Zack Snyder’s version hit screens in 2009, and 12 Monkeys director Terry Gilliam was attached at one stage. Snyder’s movie was a modest success, making $185 million at the worldwide box office.