With Game of Thrones airing its season finale on May 20, 2019, HBO will lose its biggest ever show. It is highly unlikely that HBO will have a show quite like GoT in the future, but there seems to be a replacement as HBO’s flagship show is just around the corner.
The show most suited to fill that GoT-sized void is Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen (HBO series). A decade after Zack Snyder’s take on the legendary comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, experienced showrunner Damon Lindelof (of Lost and The Leftovers fame) takes the helm of this highly-anticipated superhero drama that takes place 3 decades after the events of the comic book.
If you haven’t seen Watchmen or read the comic book, Watchmen posits an alternate world in which superheroes exist, but are outlawed and treated like vigilantes. Damon Lindelof called his new show a “contemporary remix” of Alan Moore’s work.
Lets’s see what we know so far from the show.
Does the premise appeal to audiences?
Watchmen is already poised to develop a cult following due to the legacy of the graphic novel as well as Zack Snyder’s film. While the setting, plot and theme are completely different to that of Game of Thrones, it contains all the markers to have the same effect as GoT had on worldwide audiences. If Watchmen does live up to the hype, it’ll command a considerable audience. Whether it’ll have the same effect as GoT, remains to be seen.
But the show does bring something new and different to the table. It isn’t an adaptation of the original comic. It is, in fact, more of a live-action sequel to the events of the comic book. Damon Lindelof, in a letter to fans last year pointed out that remaking the events of the comics would be pointless, and his new show, a sequel to those events would acknowledge said events as a part of that world’s history.
So as all you Watchmen fans know, Viedt executed his plan, Dr. Manhattan left Earth after being accused of nuclear democide, Rorschach uncovers the truth and sends his journal full of all his experiences to a right-wing newspaper, The New Frontiersman, who haven’t read the journal as far as our knowledge is concerned. Fast forward 3 decades to today’s world, and you got HBO‘s Watchmen. Here’s the letter from Damon Lindelof to the fans which was posted on his Instagram account.
Soon after Lindelof’s letter, HBO made announcements regarding casting. And boy, were they big. The initial announcements included Don Johnson, best known for his role as James “Sonny” Crockett in the 1980s television series Miami Vice; Regina King, who won an Academy Award for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk; Tim Blake Nelson, who most recently starred in the Coen Brothers’ film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; as well as Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, and Andrew Howard.
They were soon followed by Jeremy Irons, who it was later announced would play Adrien Viedt/Ozymandias, the villain from the comic book; Sleepy Hollow star Tom Mison, Titanic’s Frances Fisher, Superfly’s Jacob Ming-Trent, and Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Mahteen II. Other cast members include Jean Smart (Legion), Sara Vickers (Endeavor), Hong Chau (Big Little Lies), Dustin Ingram (True Blood), and James Wolk (Tell Me a Story), as well as child actors Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith, and Adelynn Spoon.
Nine Inch Nails‘ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will provide the score for Watchmen. The pair, who’ve written music for The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl and much more, are writing and recording a full score of original music for the new series.
Ever since October 2018, HBO had been putting out tons of ambiguous teasers, depicting the world of modern-day Watchmen. Many of the posts portrayed masked policemen. Lindelof was to portray that the theme of obscured identity is strong across the series as the police, militia members, and potential vigilantes alike use masks to hide themselves from opponents and the public at large, in a world that was still under the fear of nuclear annihilation.
There was also a little tease to the story set within the Watchmen comic book, Tales of the Black Freighter.
A little tease offered hints to Dr. Manhattan’s return? Too much to hope for?
30 years on, this change to the American flag, in tatters, gives us a grim look of what happened to the world after Dr. Manhattan left it, as well as clues that Rorschach’s journal may have been found and published.
“Rorschach’s journal, October 12th, 1985. Tonight, a Comedian died in New York.”
Trailer and Release Date
Finally, on May 9, 2019, HBO released its first teaser for Watchmen, which would release sometime in the Fall. Check out the teaser below.
From the look of the trailer, it seems that Rorschach’s journal was found, and the world was left worse off when Dr. Manhattan left it. There also seems to be a new Rorschach-based cult, most likely due to the shocking revelations of the journal.
Apart from the lone familiar character in Adrien Viedt, Regina King, Don Johnson and the others play a host of new characters, with King playing a vigilante named Angela Abraham and Johnson playing Police Chief Judd Crawford.
It looks set that Game of Thrones is going to pass the baton to Watchmen, and with the millions of passionate Watchmen fans around the world eagerly waiting for the show, myself included, the show is going to be one of the biggest superhero-based additions this year.
Watchmen will air on HBO in the fall.