During a Golden Globes dominated by Netflix and FX, HBO was like "don't forget we invented this whole Golden Age of TV thing" and ran a commercial previewing its 2019 programming slate. It was kind of an overwhelming ad that contained the first footage of some highly anticipated stuff. It was so jam-packed that the first looks at Game of Thrones Season 8 and Big Little Lies Season 2 overshadowed the first Watchmen footage. But now it's time to give Watchmen the attention it deserves.
The Watchmen TV series is a "remixed" version Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' epochal comic series by Lost and The Leftovers' Damon Lindelof. Lindelof describes it as not exactly a sequel, but rather a series that tells a new, "contemporary" story in the superhero-cursed world that Moore created with a few familiar faces and a whole bunch of new characters.
We got our first idea of what that will look like in the HBO preview, and it looks like Jeremy Irons.
The Watchmen stuff is only about six seconds of the commercial, contains only one line of vague dialogue (Irons as comics character Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias saying, "It's only just begun") and only two other recognizable faces. One belongs to Jean Smart:
And the other belongs to Rorschach, the ideologically rigid vigilante.
Now, the original Rorschach, aka Walter Kovacs, died at the end of the original Watchmen. According to Lindelof, that's still true. So this Rorschach is a new person putting on the mask. This might be Reggie Long, who became Rorschach II in the currently ongoing Watchmen sequel comic Doomsday Clock, written by Geoff Johns. Or it might be someone else, because Doomsday Clock is a different project than the Watchmen show that incorporates other characters from the DC Universe, which we've gotten no indication will happen on Watchmen.
All the other faces in the shots are hidden. There are cops with yellow stockings over their faces. There's this guy with a shower cap that goes all the way over his face and his friend with a very ugly jacket.
Which reminds me: I'm getting a Fargo sort of vibe from this. It sounds like Lindelof is playing in Moore's sandbox similar to how Noah Hawley was inspired by the Coen Brothers' movie for his anthology series. Or that might just be the presence of Fargo Season 2 star Jean Smart making me see things.
What does all this add up to? Six seconds of footage. I'm not going to make a call on whether or not this looks good yet. But Regina King is in it and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross from Nine Inch Nails are doing the score, so we can be sure at least two parts of it will be good.
Watchmen is coming to HBO sometime in 2019.