Following a lot of buzz around the pilot, HBO has officially ordered Damon Lindelof’s “Watchmen” adaptation to series. The new take on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986-87 graphic novel is slated to premiere in 2019.
HBO also released a detailed cast list, including previously announced cast members like Regina King (“The Leftovers”), Jeremy Irons (“Dead Ringers”), Tim Blake Nelson (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?”), and Don Johnson (“Book Club”), as well as as Jacob Ming-Trent, Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith, and Adelynn Spoon. The rest of the cast includes Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, and Sara Vickers.
Lindelof reunites with his “Leftovers” executive producer Tom Spezialy on the series, as well as a former “Leftovers” director Nicole Kassell, who directed the pilot and is also attached to “Watchmen” as an executive producer. Stephen Williams (“Lost”) will also direct and produce, and Joseph Iberti (“Boardwalk Empire”) rounds out the team of EPs. “Watchmen” is produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television, based on characters from DC.
Here’s the official logline from HBO:
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.
Lindelof divulged his plan to move away from a straight adaptation in May 2018, before production began on the pilot. In a lengthy Instagram post, the creator explained his “creative intentions” for a project that’s near and dear to his heart.
“We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago,” Lindelof wrote. “Those issues are sacred ground and they will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted. They will, however, be remixed.”
Lindelof went on to emphasize the project isn’t a sequel, but it will be set within the original world built by Moore and Gibbons. “This new story must be original,” Lindelof said. “It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary.”
Lindelof won an Emmy for “Lost” in 2005 and has been nominated 10 times. His last original series, “The Leftovers,” was the best-reviewed program of 2017 and won a Peabody Award in 2016.
“Watchmen” has been slated for a 2019 release date.