Watchmen: Damon Lindelof Talks Writers' Room, Having Squid Confidence

While Damon Lindelof has received much of the upfront attention (and deservedly so) for the success of his "remix" pseudo-sequel to The-Writer-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, David Gibbons, and John Higgins' comic book classic Watchmen, he's never missed an opportunity to give much of the credit to his writers' room: Cord Jefferson, Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Christal Henry, Lila Byock, Carly Wray, Claire Kiechel, Nick Cuse, Jeff Jensen, Tom Spezialy, and writers' assistant Ryan Lipscom. Now, the series finds itself heading into next month's Emmy Awards with 26 nomination- taking the title for most nominations, including the series overall for Outstanding Drama Series and individual acting recognitions for Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jovan Adepo, Louis Gossett Jr., and Jean Smart.

Lady Trieu and Adrian Vedit meet on Watchmen, courtesy of HBO.

So with voting underway and wrapping up at the end of this month, Lindelof has been making the rounds to offer more insight into how the series came to be and how a talented group of writers made what many believe would be impossible, possible. Speaking with THR, Lindelof revealed a number of key aspects he believes helped elevate the series- with two, in particular, catching our attention.

From the very beginning, Lindelof emphasized that he was not looking to adapt the classic comic book series. Instead, he was looking to create something that exists within that universe and builds upon certain aspects of the original series, but also stood on its own and carved out its own universe in the process. To accomplish that goal-and to ensure that the series would be approachable to fans new and old- Lindelof staffed the writers'room with a mix of those schooled on Watchmen and those coming to it for the first time.

"I was able to have conversations about Watchmen with complete and total neophytes, and also people who were very Watchmen-literate and could discuss it chapter and verse," Lindelof said. "And I found through the course of those conversations, that the only way the show would work was to populate the room with both. We needed to get the people with no familiarity with Watchmen to fall in love with something new, and we had to convince the people who really had a preexisting love for Watchmen, that this was worthy of being called Watchmen."

A look at the squid from Watchmen (Image: HBO)

And then there's the squid. Missing from Zack Snyder's 2009 film over concerns that it wouldn't be viewed as serious by the audience, Veidt's "greater good" answer to a world near the brink of war was also a concern of Lindelof's. But once again showing how the team took on challenges others wouldn't, the show's effects team would change his mind: "Their eyes lit up. It's like that moment in The Social Network when Sean Parker says 'a billion dollars.' That's the reaction you want to see from people: They see the challenge in front of them, but they're just so stoked to do it."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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