Watchmen starts ticking as Don Johnson, Regina King, more join cast of Damon Lindelof's HBO series

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May 23, 2018, 4:38 PM EDT

The first round of casting news for Damon Lindelof's Watchmen series on HBO is here, based on a report from Variety. Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, and Andrew Howard will all be a part of the show, with King nabbing the lead role.

There are no details on whom each of these actors will play, but none of them are strangers to genre projects. Between all six performers, you've got The Strain, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Incredible HulkStargate SG-1, Silent Hill: Revelation, and Limitless

If you're already trying to guess who will be Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan, Silk Spectre II, Ozymandius, Nite Owl, and the rest, you might be wasting your time. As recently as his open letter yesterday, Lindelof has assured fans that the Watchmen show won't be a panel-for-panel adaptation like Zack Snyder's movie was in 2009. He wants to capture the spirit of the graphic novel written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons, but also branch out into entirely new territory.

“Some of the characters will be unknown,” he wrote. “New faces. New masks to cover them. We also intend to revisit the past century of Costumed Adventuring through a surprising yet familiar set of eyes... and it is here we will be taking our greatest risks.”

Set in an alternate version of the 1980s, Watchmen follows a small group of costumed superheroes working outside of the federal law that makes vigilante activities illegal. Part of the story is told through flashbacks to the 1930s and '40s when heroes or "Minutemen" first appeared.

Spending more time in the past with characters we've never seen or only met briefly in the graphic novel sounds like a really neat idea that would certainly make the series unique in its own right. Is the "surprising yet familiar set of eyes" Doctor Manhattan traveling back in time? Maybe. 

Right now, there's no indication of when HBO plans to release the show, let alone shoot the pilot. When the cameras do start rolling, however, Nicole Kassell will be sitting in the director's chair. Having worked with Lindelof on his other HBO project, The Leftovers, she's the logical candidate to helm such a risky adaptation.