We told you this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) was pretty much going to be setting up shop on the "Television" side of the pop culture landscape, and HBO is looking to keep it that way. While Damon Lindelof's "remix" of Alan Moore and David Gibbons celebrated comic books series Watchmen doesn't have an official panel this year (easier to keep the secrets), it does have a very cool-sounding outdoor experience (see below) – and then there's the matter of the eagerly-anticipated series' first trailer – released today:
From Damon Lindelof and set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, this drama series embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. The cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk.
Watchmen is based on the graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and published by DC.
Here's a look at HBO's Watchmen in-world experience opportunity in the Gaslamp Quarter:
Damon Lindelof's "remix" of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' 1986 comic book series Watchmen for HBO is set in an alternate history where "superheroes" are treated as outlaws, the series is said to embrace the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own.
HBO's Watchmen stars Regina King as Angela Abraham, Don Johnson as Chief Judd Crawford, Tim Blake Nelson as Looking Glass, Louis Gossett Jr. as Old Man, Adelaide Clemens as Pirate Jenny, Andrew Howard as Red Scare, Jeremy Irons as Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias, Frances Fisher as Jane Crawford, Jacob Ming-Trent as Panda, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Cal Abraham, Adelynn Spoon as Emma Abar, and Jean Smart as Agent Blake – as well as Tom Mison, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and Lily Rose Smith. Joining the series in recurring roles are James Wolk as Senator Keane, Hong Chau as Lady T., and Dustin Ingram as Agent Petey.
Nine Inch Nails duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are on board to compose music for the series.
In May 2018, Lindelof shared a series of Instagram posts to update fans on progress on the project (with a pilot directed by Westworld and Castle Rock's Nicole Kassell) and to emphasize that his vision was not a direct adaptation of the original graphic novel, but rather a "remix" that utilizes important elements from the original story while telling its own narrative. Here are some excerpts from those posts:
"We have no desire to 'adapt' the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted.
They will however be remixed, Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we'd be fools not to sample them. Those original twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along it did not erase what came before it. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with 'Watchmen.' The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica."
"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. It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary. The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachev. Ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. And speaking of Horsemen, The End of the World is off the table…which means the heroes and villains–as if the two are distinguishable–are playing for different stakes entirely."
"Some of the characters will be unknown. 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…"