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When Damon Lindelof was a teenager in 1989, he and his comic book-loving father spent $35 on a bootleg copy of the script to Watchmen, Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm’s attempt to adapt Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal deconstruction of superheroes and their stories. Over sandwiches, Lindelof’s dad began reading aloud from the opening scene, where terrorists attacked the Statue of Liberty and were fended off by a superhero team calling themselves the Watchmen. The scene got so many things wrong about the source material, literally and thematically, that the elder Lindelof had only one response, as Damon recalls 30 years later: “What the **** is this?”
Today, Lindelof calls the comic an enormous influence on a career that’s included huge hits like Lost and the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek films (which he co-wrote), cult classics like HBO’s The Leftovers (a.k.a. the best TV show of the 2010s), and divisive work like the Lost finale or his scripts for Prometheus and The Hunt, a satirical film about liberals preying on red-staters, which Universal recently shelved after criticism from President Trump. So it feels fitting that he’s in charge of HBO’s new TV version of Watchmen — and ironic that Lindelof’s take is such a departure from Moore and Gibbons’ work that it’s easy to imagine the comic-book-loving fathers of 2019 also asking, “What the **** is this?”
World - 'Watchmen
What to Know About the World of 'Watchmen'
The series, which debuts October 20th, takes place 34 years after the events of the comic and is linked to it in many ways. Its chief villains, the racist members of the Seventh Kalvary, wear masks inspired by Watchmen vigilante Rorschach. Jean Smart is playing Laurie Blake (formerly Laurie Juspeczyk, a.k.a. ex-vigilante Silk Spectre), and Jeremy Irons sure seems to be playing an older version of brilliant hero/villain...
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