Back to IndieWire

Damon Lindelof on Why We Need a New ‘Watchmen’ Now: ‘What We Think About Superheroes is Wrong’

The "Leftovers" showrunner said his HBO series would refute the common perception of superheroes perpetuated by Marvel and D.C. movies.


Warner Bros.

HBO has yet to officially green light a “Watchmen” TV adaptation, but Damon Lindelof has been hard at work on the series for more than a month. Chronicled with sly references and clever comparisons on the showrunner’s Instagram account, the series — which received a pilot order from the premium cable network in September — has already generated a lot of buzz.

On Saturday afternoon, Lindelof spoke publicly about the project for the first time. He took part in a panel at Vulture Fest along with “The Good Place” creator Mike Schur and was asked by Vulture’s West Coast Editor Josef Adalian why he decided to follow-up his critically acclaimed series “The Leftovers” with a comic book adaptation.

Prefacing his point with his memory of the original graphic novel, Lindelof said, “‘Watchmen’ was dangerous.”

“The reason I’m doing this is because these are dangerous times and we need dangerous shows,” Lindelof said. “What we think about superheroes is wrong.”

Lindelof said he “loves” the Marvel movies and “just saw ‘Justice League’ this morning.”

“I’m all for Wonder Woman and Batman. I grew up on these characters. I love these characters. But we should not trust people who put on masks and say they are looking out for us. If you hide your face you are up to no good,” Lindelof said.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Vulture West Coast Editor Josef Adalian (L) interviews producer Damon Lindelof during the 'Damon Lindelof and Mike Schur Discuss TV (And the Meaning of Life)' panel, part of Vulture Festival LA Presented by AT&T at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on November 18, 2017 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)

Lindelof also described himself as a “superhero junkie,” dating back to his father’s obsession with comic books. When Lindelof’s dad was a kid, his mother threw away his comic book collection, and his father vowed to reassemble it. He later took Damon to comic book conventions in search of specific issues, which helped stimulate his son’s love of comic books.

“In the middle of the ’80s, he gave me the first issue of ‘Watchmen’ and said, ‘This is probably too mature for you, but I think you can handle it,'” Lindelof said. “It crackled with energy.”

Lindelof admitted the material was “probably too mature for me,” but reading it at the age of 12 lead to a “romantic” memory of the graphic novel that motivates him to this day.

“For a superhero junkie, I’ve never done a superhero movie or a superhero TV show, and now is the time,” he said.

Lindelof also speculated that if the series is picked up by HBO, it would air sometime in 2018 or 2019. He provided his last Instagram update on Wednesday with a photo of him (presumably, given the glasses) wearing a Rorschach mask. The caption reads “Day 40,” so things seem to be moving along swiftly with the adaptation.


Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox