By Sebastian Sheath
Early last year, the rumour of an HBO Watchmen show began but no more news came for another six months. I had assumed that the idea had not gone any further until 6 months ago when Damon Lindelof started getting active on Instagram. Now, the news is coming out on a monthly basis as we gradually find out more about the show. In this post, I will be updating you on any news that comes out and avoiding any rumours that may be circulating.
What Is ‘Watchmen’
Watchmen is a comic series and graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. It was published by DC Comics in 1986 and 1987 and was collected in a single volume edition in 1987. The story was used by Moore to reflect contemporary anxieties and to deconstruct and parody the superhero concept. An artistic masterpiece that comments on the issues in both modern day society and politic landscape and those of the times, Watchmen still stands up today as one of the highest regarded and world-renowned graphic novels ever written.
Watchmen depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s and their presence changed history so that the United States won the Vietnam War and the Watergate break-in was never exposed. In 1985, the country is edging toward World War III with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most former superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. The story focuses on the personal development and moral struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government-sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement.
Watchmen was adapted to the big screen in 2009 by Zack Snyder (screenshot above), starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, Jackie Earle Haley. The film is both hated and loved by many worldwide and its quality is disputed by any comic fan who has seen it.
David Lindelof As Writer
In September last year, it was announced that David Lindelof would write the script and act as executive producer for the HBO-produced miniseries. Lindelof is most well known for writing the screenplay for Star Trek: Into Darkness, World War Z, and some episodes of Lost. Lindelof seems enthusiastic about the project and has said we will be changing some of it, but respecting the source material greatly. He seems to have looked at what was well received about Snyder’s version and is taking that into account. In an interview with Vulture, Lindelof talked about the modern superhero landscape:
“What we think about superheroes is wrong. I love the Marvel movies and we saw Justice League this morning and I’m all for Wonder Woman and Batman and I grew up on these characters, but we should not trust people who put on masks and say that they are looking out for us. If you hide your face, you are up to no good.”
Nicole Kassell as Pilot Director
A week ago, Damon Lindelof posted the above post on Instagram, announcing that the pilot episode of the show would be directed by Nicole Kassell. Kassell is most well known for her directing work on Better Call Saul and The Killing.
Finally, 5 months ago, Lindelof posted that the production began on September 19th, 2017. This indicates that we may be getting the show late this year (presuming it goes past pilot) or early 2019. Other than that, this is fairly uninteresting news but I expect we will get an update.
Also, it has been announced that the filming of the pilot episode will start this spring in Vancouver (most of the film was also shot there). This gives us basically no useful information but does show that it is getting past the production stage and really is going ahead.
On April 25th, an open casting call for the below character descriptions was released. The characters, if these are major roles, would seem to be very different to any iteration of the Watchmen we have seen before. Could we be following a group of cops in the Watchmen universe and might it even take place in the same universe as Snyder’s Watchmen? Anyway, here are the descriptions:
Angela Abraham: African-American female cop. Independent and intelligent, she’s also a realist. She’s married to Cal, with whom she has a daughter and is fiercely protective of them both.
Cal Abraham: African-American male who is the stay-at-home husband of Angela. While he seems at home as the king of his castle and being a loving husband and father, it’s clear his past has a different story to tell.
Looking Glass: A good looking cop, the native Oklahoman isn’t simple as his rural accent makes him appear to be. A top interrogator and behavioural scientist, he may also be a bit of a sociopath.
Panda: An ethnic desk cop, he’s cynical and tough and puts his job first. Not a friend to many, he uses comedy to keep people at bay.
Red Scare: Mafioso, tracksuit wearing cop. His Russian accent lends to his abrasiveness.
Pirate Jenny: An androgynous and lustful bisexual cop, Jenny is an anarchist at heart.
Jane Crawford: The wife of the police chief, Judd, Jane is a veterinarian who’s sharper than her guarded persona lets on.
Old Man: A former cop who is still an imposing figure despite his age.
Let me know in the comments what these descriptions may mean for the show and why we are following cops instead of the heroes themselves.
I will keep updating this post with the newest updates on the show up until it’s release. I hope you liked the post and be sure to check out my Venom trailer breakdown or my breakdown of the Avengers: Infinity War Super Bowl Trailer!