The Watchmen Instagram feed put out three brief videos today to tease the upcoming HBO series. The glimpses are extremely brief (although I have a feeling that we’ll get our first real trailer tied to the series finale of Game of Thrones as HBO tries to shift the audience to a new expensive adaptation of a well-known title), but they do provide an interesting look at the alternate America presented in Damon Lindelof’s adaptation. The scythe with the pirate flag is reminiscent of Tales from the Black Freighter, the “Reach out and touch Mars” bit is a callback to Doctor Manhattan’s sojourn to the red planet, and the new American flag is a reminder that in the alternate America presented in Watchmen, Vietnam had been turned into an American state.
Of course, the larger job of these videos isn’t just to create callbacks to the source material, but to provide the eerie vibe and tone the series seems to be going for. The Watchmen Damon Lindelof appears to be building is a legacyquel, one where you take Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel and use it as a springboard to tell a new story inspired by the one set in 1985. That way, you don’t offend fans who are precious about staying faithful to the source material, and you still get to play in the Watchmen world. I’m curious to see how it works.
Check out the Watchmen teaser videos below. The series premieres sometime in 2019.
Here’s the official synopsis for Watchmen:
Set in an alternate history where “superheroes” are treated as outlaws, this drama series from executive producer Damon Lindelof embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. The cast includes: Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers and Dylan Schombing. Produced for HBO by White Rabbit in association with Warner Bros. Television, based on characters from DC; executive producer/writer Damon Lindelof; executive producer/pilot director, Nicole Kassell; executive producer, Tom Spezialy; executive producer/director, Stephen Williams; executive producer, Joseph Iberti.