HBO released the first image for the forthcoming series Watchmen yesterday, stirring serious curiosity amongst fans.
The first sneak peek of the highly anticipated new Watchmen series features an image of an unknown character wearing a blindingly yellow mask that covers the lower parts of his face.
Offering no other clarification beyond the caption ‘Who Watches the Watchmen’ – it’s a tantalizingly small glimpse at one of this series’ new characters in Damon Lindelof’s upcoming TV adaptation of the much-loved graphic novel series.
At first glance, the pic had most guessing whether it could possibly be a new Rorschach, yet the outfit shown in the image doesn’t match up with any known Watchmen characters. Furthermore, the person in the image seems to be wearing some sort of law enforcement attire. A new force to watch the ‘supes’ – undoubtedly,
Showrunner Daman Lindelof has repeatedly made it very clear that the Watchmen series will take a completely new direction from the original story, with new faces and as-of-yet unknown characters. He also has a solid history with Watchmen, as expressed in the letter below…
This letter sheds some light, between the lines, on why a completely unknown/brand new character would be the first image shown – the showrunner doesn’t want to corrupt the majesty of the original works, going to every length to keep Alan Moore (the original writer) and his peers happy. This is great. He also has a deep understanding of the characters – voicing his letter in the same way Dr. Manhattan (the only true superhero in the Watchmen) voices the story of his life. Impressive.
If you are not familiar with any of this, Watchmen is set in an alternate history where vigilante ‘superheroes’ fight crime in an exceptionally dark version of America, which is corrupt and crime-ridden to the core. It’s based on the comic book series of the same name, created by the British creative team comprised of writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins. It was first published by DC Comics in 1986. The originators were exceptionally protective of their stories, being very wary about film adaptions.
If you are not into graphic novels/comics though, don’t despair, you can still get up to date before the show airs next year, as there is also the heavily underrated Watchmen movie, directed by Zack Snyder, which is nothing like your standard DC superhero film. It’s clever, violent and brilliantly nasty – just like all superhero movies should be – and if you are looking for a soppy PG-rated Justice League equivalent, this will not be your jam. Alan Moore has never endorsed it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great.
To get a feel for the film’s dark vibe, which is highly reminiscent of the books, check out jaded ‘supe’ Rorshach’s first day of being locked up in a prison where he has beef with all the inmates…
We truly hope the series offers similar moments. The fact that it is being aired on HBO, a network known for groundbreaking and ultra-violent cinematic television, gives us some hope; and the fact that the showrunner intimately knows and loves the Watchmen universe not only makes this ray of hope brighter, it’s getting us just a little damn excited too.
There has also been a serious ensemble cast assembled that includes highly notable names such as Jeremy Irons and Don Johnson. Wow.
Are you excited yet? You should be.
Filming of Watchmen began on June 1, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia and is set to premiere in 2019 on HBO.