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Damon Lindelof gives his first deep-dive interview for HBO’s Watchmen

Robert Redford has been president for 28 years. Cell phones and the internet are outlawed. Fossil fuels are a thing of the past. Costumed heroes were popular, then banned. Police wear masks to protect their identities and cannot use their guns without a dispatcher unlocking them first. Reparations were issued for racial injustice, and our country remains ever divided.

This is the alternate history America of Watchmen, HBO’s upcoming drama series from writer-producer Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) that’s a bombastic mix of inspirations from Alan Moore’s “unfilmable” 1986 graphic novel infused with new characters and socio-political themes. “It’s so wildly ambitious and original, it’s like nothing I’ve seen before and also addresses important issues,” says director Nicole Kassell of Lindelof’s scripts.

The story is set three decades after the events in Moore’s Watchmen text. Most of the graphic novel’s iconic characters are apparently dead or in hiding, though a character we suspect is Adrian Veidt, a.k.a. Ozymandias, is kicking around in a mansion (and played with gilded smugness by Jeremy Irons), and the staggeringly powerful Doctor Manhattan is rumored to be hanging out on Mars. The focus instead is on a new character, Angela Abar, an Oklahoma police detective (The Leftovers‘ Regina King) with the secret superhero identity of Sister Night. Abar is investigating the reemergence of a white supremacist terrorist group inspired by the long-deceased moral absolutist Rorschach.

Below Lindelof gives his first in-depth interview about Watchmen, as well as discusses another title for the first time — The Hunt, a film he co-wrote with Nick Cuse that likewise touched on topical political divisions. The Hunt made headlines when it was pulled last month from its planned Sept. 27 release by studio Universal after President Trump and others attacked the film.

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