In a new Instagram post, Damon Lindelof has written a lengthy letter to Watchmen fans, one in which he assures everyone that the series currently being worked on at HBO will not be a straight-up adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' classic comic series.
It will, in fact, be something of a remix.
“We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor recreated 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 twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along it did not erase what came before it. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with ‘Watchmen.’ The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica.”
Lindelof goes on to specify that the series won't be 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. It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary. The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachev. Ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. And speaking of Horsemen, The End of the World is off the table…which means the heroes and villains–as if the two are distinguishable–are playing for different stakes entirely.”
But, wait: there's more! Lindelof also says we should expect new characters ("New faces. New masks to cover them.") and a look back at previous superheroes from the Watchmen universe "through a surprising, yet familiar set of eyes." The whole thing's pretty wild; you can read it below (it's five pages long, so be sure to click through in order to read the entire thing):
So, what do we make of all this? "Watchmen, but just barely" is certainly an interesting approach for a Watchmen TV series. One suspects that fans of Moore and Gibbons' Original Recipe Watchmen will not be thrilled to hear the text is being "remixed", but it's worth considering that a largely straight-up adaptation was already attempted once before (your mileage may vary on the results), and that remixing the narrative is certainly one way to keep viewers from getting bored (not to mention a good way to prolong the life of the show).
As with anything, we won't really know how to feel about it until we've learned more (or, even better, seen it in action), but where has a measured response ever gotten anyone online? Please join us in sorting through your feelings about the above in the comments below, and stay tuned for more on Watchmen as it becomes available.