Damon Lindelof on Watchmen season 2: ‘I want to see someone else interpret this story’

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Lost and Leftovers co-creator Damon Lindelof was given the opportunity to create the masked cop, vigilante and alternate history world of Watchmen, a comic world created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons for DC Comics. You’d think that having such massive success with Lost that he’d be game to lead this new project that he had been handed, but Damon signed up with one caveat, that he’d only be responsible for one season.

Damon had a damn good reason for his vision of one and done. He discusses it in an interview with Adam Chitwood for Collider:

On the notion that he’s ‘tapped out’ on Watchmen
“It’s not even about being tapped out, it’s more about me wanting to honor what Watchmen was before I became a part of it. The legacy of Watchmen is Alan [Moore] and Dave [Gibbons] created it and it sat for 30 years, obviously Zack [Snyder] made his movie which was a pretty canonical adaptation of the 12 issues, and then we made our season of television. That was my turn. I got in the middle of the dance floor for a minute and got to do my move, but then you retreat to the edge of the circle and it’s someone else’s turn to dance.”

He thinks someone else should take over for season 2
“Suffice it to say that I just feel like what’s best for Watchmen, this thing that I love, is for someone else to take their shot at it. I think that that’s just gonna be much more interesting than anything that I would do moving forwards. And it’s not that I take the opportunity for granted. I’ve learned that not working with actors again is stupid, so I would love to work with Carrie Coon again and I would love to work with Regina King again and Jean Smart and Tim Blake Nelson and Justin Theroux and Kevin Carroll and Jovan Adepo, who I’ve worked with twice now. These actors in the world of Watchmen. But at the same time, unless I have an idea that is as important to me as Tulsa ’21 was, then I shouldn’t do it. And I haven’t had that idea, and I want to create the space versus people waiting for me to change my mind. I want to create the space for people to come forward and say, ‘I have an idea.’”

“I issue this invitation to anyone out there: If you have an idea, figure out a way to pitch it. But probably not to me. Watchmen is not mine. It’s ours. And I want to see how someone else interprets this incredible story.”

[From Collider]

I love the fact that, unlike many creators, Damon wants to create space for fresh talent with a different aesthetic to ‘take a shot’ at co-creating Season 2. In order for Hollywood to be more diverse, it will need to, well diversify its talent pool. If more creators would do as Damon has by creating an amazing adaptation and then stepping back and handing the reins over to someone else, there would be more quality art made.

With that being said, I’d be a lying hypocrite if I didn’t say that I truly enjoyed what Damon did with the material. His world was colorful, often chaotic and jarring as f*ck. If you’d blinked, you’d miss important plot points. There was even a wink to blacksploitation films. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, it’s that good. And as an avid lover of filmography, I believe that the reason Damon was able to create such first time magic with season 1 of HBO’s Watchmen is because he was able to be present in the moment, focused only on creating season 1 without having to think about what he’d need to do next.

Whatever the formula for season two of Watchmen, I think Damon has the right idea for the future of television.
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12 Responses to “Damon Lindelof on Watchmen season 2: ‘I want to see someone else interpret this story’”

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  1. duchess of hazard says:

    Lindelof was canny in that once he got the idea, he got a lot of BIPOC in the room to make it happen, and in some ways, stepped back from the scripts completely (the one with the lynching, I think a black person wrote the dialogue) as he deferred to other knowledgable voices in the room.

    Also, to be fair, he really respects Alan Moore, and Moore has had feelings about *Watchmen* (DC promised him that the rights would go to him once the limited print run was over, but they regnenged on it). Supposedly Lindelof spoke with Moore and although he hasn’t shared what they’ve said, you get the feeling that Lindelof was going to have a go around with the material once and done.

  2. reef says:

    One thing I used to loathe about American television is we never knew when enough was enough. Now the more prestige shows especially those that have movie star casts are likely to be limited availability so that great’s been great.
    I’d be happy either way if there is another season or not.

    • FHMom says:

      Agree. American television shows go on after their creativity has passed. It’s almost as if you know the last 2 seasons are going to be awful. Plus, there are too many episodes. I just binged watched Fleabag, with its six short episodes and only 2 seasons and I would die for more. Every episode was perfection. It’s better to exit with the audience wanting more rather than the audience quitting because it gets bad.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree – knowing when to end something is an important part of storytelling.

      I knew nothing about Watchmen before watching the show, and was confused for a LOT of it, but it still was incredibly engrossing and well done. I do want to rewatch at some point. I’m good if they leave it a 1 season and done, but if they do continue, I hope someone very talented takes over.

  3. Mia4s says:

    Or we could…not…do a season 2? We could let it stand as the amazing series it was and not force things. Maybe? Could we please just not?

  4. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    OR Lindelof could mentor and groom one of the BPOC writers like Cord Jefferson for Watchmen’s Season 2 showrunner. It wouldn’t be Lindelof’s interpretation, it would be the BPOC’s interpretation.

    On it’s surface Lindelof’s logic seems generous, but it’s really not. White men who have as much influence as Lindelof need to actively use it to create opportunities for BPOC not only “step away” or “step down” to give other people a shot.

    • Caitrin says:

      Do y’all remember when Cord used to be the editor over at Mollygood? It seems so long ago, but I’m so excited to watch his career continue to ascend!

  5. STRIPE says:

    Considering how poorly Lost was wrapped up, it’s probably good he hand the reigns to someone else.

    • Mara says:

      Agree, I couldn’t believe it when I heard Lindelof had been involved in something coherent

  6. FF says:

    I think if he’s not coming back they should leave it alone, or it’s going to be American Gods part 2.

    HBO needs to do something else instead of ruining more things that once were good.