News about HBO’s Watchmen adaptation, from Lost and The Leftovers creator Damon Lindelof, has been hard to come by in recent months. The premium TV network has been playing their cards close to the vest, unwilling to divulge even basic information about how the series relates to Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel, and the previous film adaptation by Zack Snyder. Now, however, the first teaser for Watchmen has dropped online, and we can infer a whole lot from it.
First of all, it seems to be clear that this is in no way a straight-up adaptation of the Watchmen source material. Rather, it seems like this series must be set several decades into the future from the events seen in the graphic novel—in other words, in our present day, rather than the 1980s. Anchoring this is the presence of Jeremy Irons, who seems to be playing a much older version of Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, the “peak human” of the original series who is responsible for averting global nuclear war—at a terrible cost of human lives. It’s not clear whether other characters from Moore’s Watchmen are also appearing, but an aged Ozymandias clearly sets the time period.
As for the story, the opening voiceover of the trailer seems to imply that it takes place in a time period when the authorities had believed the scourge of masked vigilantes had disappeared for good—obviously, they were mistaken. A new organization has arisen that seems to have taken the take-no-prisoners philosophy of Rorschach to heart, claiming, like Anonymous, to be invincible because they are both “everyone” and “no one.” The police have responded in kind, masking their officers to hide behind anonymity. It seems to set up another large-scale clash between authority and vigilante radicals.
No premiere date has yet been set for Watchmen, but one must think that day is now approaching. Check out the full trailer below to see just how far Lindelof is going in his reinterpretation of the most famous story in comics.