Damon Lindelof blew our minds with The Leftovers and Lost, but when he announced he'd be taking on a new adaptation of the Watchmen comic book for HBO, the internet lost its damn mind.
Everyone has been speculating how this show would fit into the comic's world. And wondering if notorious recluse Alan Moore would address his work once again undergoing an adaptation.
Well, this week we got both answers to those questions when HBO did a Watchmen panel at the Television Critics Association.
Check out the trailer to Watchmen and look for the answers after the jump.
Damon Lindelof on adapting Alan Moore
During the panel, Damon Lindelof told the audience that he is channeling Alan Moore’s “punk rock, rebellious spirit.”
Well, he's been pursuing this adaptation against the author’s wishes.
"I don’t think that I’ve made peace with it. Alan Moore is a genius, in my opinion, the greatest writer in the comic medium and maybe the greatest writer of all time. He’s made it very clear that he doesn’t want to have any association or affiliation with Watchmen ongoing and that we not use his name to get people to watch it, which I want to respect. As someone who’s entire identity is based around a very complicated relationship with my dad, who I constantly need to prove myself to and never will, Alan Moore is now that surrogate. The wrestling match will continue. I do feel like the spirit of Alan Moore is a punk rock spirit, a rebellious spirit, and that if you would tell Alan Moore, a teenage Moore in ’85 or ’86, ‘You’re not allowed to do this because Superman’s creator or Swamp Thing’s creator doesn’t want you to do it,’ he would say, ‘F— you, I’m doing it anyway.’ So I’m channeling the spirit of Alan Moore to tell Alan Moore, ‘F— you, I’m doing it anyway.’ That’s clickbait, guys! Clickbait!"
This is all exciting, but what about the actual plotline of the show?
Lindelof offered this nugget:
“We re-explore the past but it’s canon,” he says. “Everything that happened in those 12 issues could not be messed with. We were married to it. There is no rebooting it...All I can say is I love the source material, I went through a very intense period of terror of f—ing it up. I’m not entirely sure I’m out of that tunnel. But I have a tremendous amount of respect for this. I had to separate myself a little bit from this incredible reverence to take risks.”
This only makes me more excited to see what he has in store.
There's a conversation to be had about adaptations and the blessing of the original creator, but I think it can be hard when they don't control their own material. Moore is certainly a creative genius who deserves the respect and reverence of this and the next generation.
But his work is rife with relevant themes and social issues that would be interesting to play with today.
It's clear Lindelof is excited to play in this world and is not totally worried about Moore's blessing since it was a foregone conclusion he would never get it.
What do you guys think about adapting things against the author's wishes? Is there a right and wrong time to attempt it? Let us know in the comments!
Watchmen debuts in October on HBO.