Damon Lindelof Reveals How Ta-Nehisi Coates Essay ‘The Case for Reparations’ Influenced ‘Watchmen’

     October 21, 2019

Let’s get this out of the way first: Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen is incredible. In this era of exceptional television, Watchmen is near the top. One of the main reasons why Lindelof’s series is so amazing is that he’s taken his love of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Hugo Award-winning graphic novel and created a completely new story that absolutely feels like Watchmen – but is its own thing. The series, like the original comic, has a lot to say about the state of the world and each episode is absolutely loaded with so much world building that I can’t wait to rewatch every episode as they air on HBO Sunday nights (I’ve already seen the first six). Another thing about HBOs Watchmen that’s so well done is the show absolutely works if you’ve never read the graphic novel, but if you have, it’s even better. I could go on and on about the extraordinary performances by the entire cast, the unbelievable music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the incredible cinematography and direction, the brilliant writing, or how the production design makes you feel like you’re actually there, but I’ll just say I strongly recommend tuning in to HBO this Sunday night for the premiere episode.

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Image via HBO

With the show getting ready to premiere, I had the fortune of sitting down with Damon Lindelof yesterday for an extended spoiler-free interview about the making of the show. During the thirty-five minute conversation, he revealed a tremendous amount about why he finally agreed to take on the material, why it’s nine episodes, his love of Watchmen and how he credits the comic with influencing what he did on Lost, what he learned making The Leftovers that he applied to making Watchmen, how Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Atlantic essay ‘The Case for Reparations’ influenced the writing, how he landed Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the score, what Ed Brubaker told him after seeing the pilot, if he has any interest in adapting Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as a limited series on HBO, and more. In addition, I also brought up if he’d be interested in doing Watchmen season two and he talked about his reasoning why someone else should tackle it and why he could or could not do it.

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Image via HBO

Check out what Damon Lindelof had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. Again, you want to tune in Sunday night to watch this series. For more on Watchmen you can read Haleigh Foutch’s glowing review.

Damon Lindelof:

  • How did he land this project with HBO?
  • His long love of Watchmen and how he credits the comic with influencing what he did on Lost.
  • Was the HBO series ever radically different than what it ended up?
  • How Ta-Nehisi Coates essay in the Atlantic titled The Case for Reparations influenced the writing.
  • What he learned making The Leftovers that he applied to making Watchmen?
  • Did he write with any sort of budget in mind?
  • How he told HBO early on that Watchmen would take place over the course of 100 years.
  • How he landed Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the score.
  • watchmen-hbo-regina-king

    Image via HBO

    How Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross sent in a number of things before filming began on the pilot and they played it on set and it informed decisions on set.

  • How he put together the writings room to do the world building.
  • Did he ever think HBO wouldn’t make the show after shooting the pilot?
  • How the HBO series Watchmen is a complete story.
  • How they shot all of Jeremy Irons in Whales before shooting anything else due to weather concerns.
  • Does he have any ideas for a Watchmen season 2?
  • Does he have any interest in adapting Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns as a limited series on HBO?
  • How he’d love to see Michael Keaton or Christian Bale wait 25 years and then play Batman in The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Did they have a lot of deleted scenes in Watchmen?
  • Who did he show the pilot to for honest feedback?
  • He reveals what Ed Brubaker told him after seeing the pilot.
  • Did he ever think of doing more than 9 episodes?

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