HBO’s miniseries ‘Watchmen’ was not only a ratings hit, but was critically acclaimed. Damon Lindelof took the 1986 DC Comics miniseries by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and crafted a sequel that used that fantastical setting to tell a story that explored the very real systemic racism in the United States. The series was filmed in 2018 and ’19, but those themes were relevant then, and remarkably even more so now.
Fittingly, HBO made the acclaimed miniseries free for all to watch in honor of Juneteenth, bringing this timely series to a wider audience.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II co-starred on ‘Watchmen’ as the loving husband and father, Calvin Abar, who ultimately turns out to be Doctor Manhattan, the all-powerful godlike being whose presence looms large over the entire story.
Abdul-Mateen recently spoke about ‘Watchmen’, revealing the impact it had on him as an actor. (Via Deadline):
“From the very first episode, we were into that story of the massacre in Oklahoma, and the way that it was very descriptive and detailed, and leaned into that history in a way I hadn’t seen before, I knew it was doing something special.
“I got each story one at a time, and as the scripts continued to come in and unfold, I saw the way they were writing this story about heroes, about the often untold side of American history. They were being very relentless and courageous with the content they were writing, telling the story of systemic racism in America, and the story of generational trauma, while also being a love story and a really exciting hero’s journey, and that was very exciting.
“Outside of the cast and the excellent artistic company, it’s really nice to be doing work that also speaks to the state of the world. We filmed this in 2018 and ’19, when the world was a lot more quiet than it is right now, but still, a lot of things were going on underneath. So, that definitely spoke to me.”
He went on to add:
“Watchmen was the first thing that I was a part of, where I saw its potential to be a change agent. That was a really good feeling, and I want that feeling again.”
Alas, while HBO had hoped that ‘Watchmen’ could become its next ongoing must-watch show, following ‘Game of Thrones’, Lindelof stepped away, saying that he had completed the story he wanted to tell. For their part, HBO has said that it has no interest in handing ‘Watchmen’ over to another storyteller, without Lindelof involved in some capacity. The show’s lead, Regina King has also stated that she wouldn’t return without him.
Indeed, Lindelof’s series ended in what felt like a definitive end. Then again, the same could be said about the original comic book miniseries.
Lindelof has stated that he would love to see another filmmaker tell another story in this world. So who knows what the future may hold?
Would you like another installment of ‘Watchmen’? Or was one enough?