While fans have gotten teases of an upcoming show, HBO finally officially announced Friday that it’s ordered a full series of Watchmen, which is based on the DC Comics comic books written by Alan Moore with art by Dave Gibbons.
HBO shared a teaser image, as well as the full cast list, which includes Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Adelynn Spoon, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing and Lily Rose Smith.
Eagle-eyed fans already suspected the popular comic book series about troubled superheroes was getting its own TV series after Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof shared an image on Instagram in 2017 titled ‘Day One.’ It showed a close-up of the trophy marked with the words ‘In Gratitude’ (it was presented to Watchmen superhero Nite Owl).
On May 22, Lindelof also posted a long, emotional letter (in multiple pages) to fans on Instagram — in the style of character Doctor Manhattan’s thoughts on Mars in Watchmen comic #4.
The gist of the letter is that the Watchmen TV series on HBO won’t actually adapt the comic Watchmen itself, because Lindelof respects Moore’s comic book version too much.
‘We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the 12 issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created 30 years ago,’ Lindelof wrote in his letter. ‘Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor re-created 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 12 issues are our Old Testament.’
However, while the Watchmen characters might be the same, their stories will not.
‘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. Set in an alternate history where ‘superheroes’ are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own.’
The new Watchmen series debuts on HBO in 2019.