Damon Lindelof's Watchmen TV series is on its way to HBO, just don't expect it to be 100 percent faithful to the original graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. During a recent appearance on the podcast Bookish with Sona Walger, Lindelof spoke at length about the project, which he doesn't necessarily consider a cut and dry adaptation.
"[Adapting] may be the right word at the end of the day," he said. "Do you watch Fargo at all? I wouldn't call Noah Hawley's version of Fargo an adaptation because the movie exists inside of his world, and so everything that happened in the movie Fargo, it does precede the television show Fargo. So they find a bag of money in the first season, and you go, 'Oh, that came from the movie.' But it's also, Noah is pulling from other areas of the Coen brothers' canon, so it evokes like Lebowski, and it's also his own thing.”
If you take Zack Snyder's film version of the comic into account, it makes sense that Lindelof doesn't want a panel-for-panel recreation of Moore and Gibbons's creation. After all, Snyder used actual pages from the graphic novel as storyboards, so as to literally translate Gibbons' images into real life. Doing the same thing for the show would be redundancy of the highest order. Rather, he wants to emulate what Moore did with the characters that DC had purchased from Charlton Comics.
“That's the spirit of what he did [with] Watchmen in the first place. It's an original world, but the basis for that world is on these other characters that DC had just bought from this other comic book company called Charlton and he did riffs on those characters," Lindelof said.
He then switched to the offensive, accusing Moore of being a hypocrite for not wanting his own works adapted into other mediums. Lindelof brought up the fact that some of Moore's greatest stories like Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and Batman: The Killing Joke were groundbreaking interpretations of established characters, so he shouldn't put a ban on others who want to play around with his own creations.
"The idea that he came in and told iconic stories of characters that he didn't create and has now turned around and said 'you're not allowed to do that with the iconic characters that I created,' I sort of feel like his own hypocrisy enables me to defile his [work]."