HBO has kept any and all story details about their upcoming Watchmen TV series under wraps. And with good reason. No comic book adaptation (or sequel, or prequel) comes with quite the weight of expectations that anything with the Watchmen name on it does, and showrunner Damon Lindelof has gone out of his way to make it clear that he isn’t looking to desecrate the work of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, but rather to build on it.
HBO has revealed a whopping five seconds of footage from the Watchmen TV series and while it’s not a lot to go on, believe it or not it’s still pretty exciting.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, it’s part of HBO’s 2019 preview video, and the Watchmen stuff starts at about thirteen seconds in…
Now, I suppose I could go as crazy on this as five seconds of footage will allow. There’s the disturbing masked police officers (wearing the colors of the Comedian) for starters, or the fact that the cowboy hat in the shot of the police station sure looks like a smiley face, or the creepy Rorschach wannabe. But those should all be saved until we get some more footage with some more context a little later on.
Anyway, none of that is as big a deal as the 1.5 seconds of Jeremy Irons we get.
Whoever this character is, he’s wearing purple, and he’s hanging out at Gila Flats, the location where Dr. Manhattan was born. SlashFilm had previously reported that Irons was playing an older version of Adrian Veidt, and based on his fashion sense here (Veidt always favored purple) that definitely appears to be the case. If he’s back at Gila Flats, he could be trying to resurrect Dr. Manhattan, or maybe trying to replicate the event that caused Dr. Jon Osterberg to become something much more than human.
In any case, this is most definitely a sequel to the graphic novel (whether the movie and its controversial ending are considered canon is another matter, I suppose) not some kind of re-adaptation, something that showrunner Lindelof had alluded to when he first started talking publically about the Watchmen gig. And given Irons’ age, it’s a safe bet that this takes place in the present day, rather than a mere few years after the original.
Ah, but where does this leave the current print sequel, Doomsday Clock, in Watchmen continuity? That comic begins 10 years after the conclusion of Watchmen, with Adrian Veidt trying to track down Dr. Manhattan…who has been quietly meddling in the affairs of the DC Universe for the last few years. Even though that comic begins with Veidt in 1996, he arrives in the DC Universe of the present day, so depending on how it ends, who survives, and if they go back to their appropriate universes, maybe this TV series can still exist alongside it. Or not. I’m probably overthinking this.
There’s no premiere date for Watchmen yet, but we expect it around mid 2019. You can read everything these is to know about the series right here.