Watchmen creators attends TCA 2019 in Los Angeles
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Credit: Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic for HBO via Getty Images

Damon Lindelof confirms Jean Smart is in fact playing [REDACTED] in Watchmen

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Jul 25, 2019, 1:54 PM EDT

Nothing ever ends. Damon Lindelof, series creator for HBO’s upcoming Watchmen series, confirmed that Jean Smart is indeed playing Silk Spectre after the network’s TCA 2019 session yesterday (which SYFY WIRE attended). The showrunner also let it be known after the session that he’d be open to bringing cast members of Zack Snyder’s 2009 film Watchmen into the cast of his sequel series — just in different roles. 

Although it was heavily implied from the footage shown at the TCA panel that Smart was former Silk Spectre Laurie Juspeczyk (aka Laurie Blake), showrunner Lindelof confirmed it to IGN on Wednesday. The new footage shown to critics at the panel featured a shot of Smart's character juxtaposed against a painting of a costumed Silk Spectre. In the footage, Agent Blake admits to having dressed up in a costume and punched bad guys.

Lindeloff also told The Wrap after the event that although he could be open to having the cast from Snyder’s Watchmen film appear in the series, they would not be reprising their roles from the movie. 

“Maybe. Again, I don’t want to be cutesy about it,” Lindelof told the outlet. “Our Watchmen, with two notable exceptions, is trying to introduce new characters as opposed to dwelling on characters from the classic. But never say never.” 

The exceptions to which he’s referring appears to be Jeremy Irons, who plays an older version of Ozymandias/Adrien Veidt (played by Matthew Goode in the film) and Smart as Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman in the movie).

Jean Smart

Jean Smart (Credit: Getty Images)

Lindeloff also noted that the TV show will be set decades after the events of the film, so it wouldn’t make sense to have Patrick Wilson return as Nite Owl. Plus, apparently Lindelof doesn’t want the HBO series to share a continuity with Snyder’s film. (Let’s not forget that the movie made some major changes to the ending.)

Based on the groundbreaking comic book limited series from DC Comics by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is a deconstructionist take on traditional superhero comics that poses the question: what would it be like if people dressed up in costumes and fought crime in the real world, before answering: it would be awful. 

As SYFY WIRE reported yesterday, Lindelof spoke at HBO's TCA 2019 session about trying – and failing – to get Moore’s blessing for the project, and simply going “F*** you” to the olive-branch approach when that went nowhere. Lindelof also said this take on Watchmen will tackle the topical issues and social themes of today, while remaining canon to the events of Moore and Gibbon's narrative. 

The TV series will serve as a sequel to the comic, taking place 30 years after the events of the comic book series. The show will embrace the historical deviations from the comic, which portrayed an alternate history in which the U.S. won the Vietnam War, Vietnam became the 51st State and Richard Nixon was still the President in the 1980s. Speaking of the President, Lindeloff confirmed at the session that in the chronology of the show, Nixon was reelected in '88 but died in office. After Vice President Gerald Ford became president, he was defeated in the '92 election by Robert Redford, who’s been President ever since.

Watchmen, which stars Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, Dustin Ingram, and Andrew Howard, premieres this October on HBO.

Additional reporting by Tara Bennett