Damon Lindelof On Why He Feels WATCHMEN Needs To Be Brought To The Small Screen

With the Superhero genre dominating our screens, Damon Lindelof, former Showrunner of LOST, offers his reasons for wanting to adapt Alan Moore's classic deconstruction of masked vigilantes for television.

During a discussion with The Good Place's Mike Schur at Vulture Fest LA on Saturday, Lindelof revealed his motivations for bringing the revered graphic novel to cable television.

"Watchmen - it was dangerous," said Lindelof. "And you can’t be dangerous for dangerous’ sake, but the reason that I’m doing this is these are dangerous times, and we need dangerous shows.” A valid point given the almost daily barrage of bad news these days. 

He goes on to talk about the superhero genre and the real world threats in our current culture by saying, “What we think about superheroes is wrong. I love the Marvel movies and we saw Justice League this morning and I’m all for Wonder Woman and Batman and I grew up on these characters, but we should not trust people who put on masks and say that they are looking out for us. If you hide your face, you are up to no good.”

In addition, Lindelof had this to say about Alan Moore, who famously looks down upon any attempts to adapt his work.

 “the greatest writer in the history of comics, maybe one of the greatest writers of all time – and he most certainly doesn’t want us to be doing this and we’re trying to find a way to do it that honors him … That comic was written in the mid-80s. It is more timely now, in 2018, 2019, whenever the show airs, if it airs, that it needs to be told. For a superhero junkie, I’ve never done a superhero movie or a superhero TV show, and now is the time.’ 

Personally, I like what I'm hearing and I'm looking forward to seeing his take on the characters. I'm intrigued when he says that he wants to make a dangerous show. His statement on distrusting masked protectors hints that his take on characters like The Comedian and Rorschach will reveal the complexity of "good guys" who wrestle with major internal issues. After all, who watches the watchmen? The fact that this will air on HBO makes me even happier. The creative freedom coupled with the sublime source material is likely to result in an excellent television show. If he pulls it off, DC should consider putting more of their mature comics on HBO as well. The Vertigo line has many outstanding books that would be perfect for this.

We know that Lindelof has been hard at work on a pilot episode for a little over a month. It is yet to be revealed how closely to the comic his take will be. Zack Snyder's take, barring a few notable alterations, was as faithful as possible. We will know in the months to come whether any creative liberties will be taken in adapting the material.

Watchmen will air on HBO at a date yet to be determined. What are your thoughts on Lindelof taking on the comic book property? 

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