Damon Lindelof wanted to talk about race relation in the new Watchmen series.
‘Watchmen’ was released in the mid-80s, and it is considered to be one of the seminal works in the comic book storytelling. The comic was turned into a movie, which was provocative and creative but could not capture the same level of realism the comics were able to, which was the reason there was not much interest in the movie.
The franchise went dormant for almost a decade, and then Warner Bros. tried another hand on the franchise. HBO picked up the rights and started making a show based on the comics with ‘The Leftovers’ creator Damon Lindelof taking the reins of the series and creating a show for the modern times.
Source: Men's Health
The main thing about the comic which made it such a massive hit among fans was the influence of politics in the story of the comic. The comic was the flip of coin reality of our world and how it would’ve looked if certain historical events never took place, and people we know to be bad were put in the position of power.
Our world is currently facing a lot of problems, and it feels like sometimes we are living in an alternate reality, an almost mirror image, what a Watchmen comic world would’ve looked. The prevalence of hate groups, a president who was a television star, and this whole thing looks a lot more like a 'Watchmen' world.
Source: Los Angeles Times
So, when the first episode of the series premiered, the creator, writers, and the director of the episode recreating the masscare of 1921 in Tulsa and bringing it all to life in a visceral fashion. The flashback scene in the opening moment of the show sets the tone for the whole series and puts the audience on notice about what to expect in the future.
The race relation was front and center, but police being victimized was a new turn taken in the movie where the cops wear masks, and superheroes are not allowed to roam the streets. This was a sensitive topic in the film, and nothing was more visceral than the neo-nazi tone set in the first episode.
Damon Lindelof explained it was all by design. He wanted to put race relations and the existence of racism front and center in the show. “Watchmen' has always been about the history that has been kind of hidden and camouflaged, and also it's about the pain and trauma that is sort of buried in the American consciousness,” Lindelof explained. “And I started to feel like it was incredibly important to tell a story about race.”
Damon grew up with the comic book and was seven years old when his father gave him the first issue. He explained how it influenced him and the difference he felt from other comics, “There was a static charge to these two things, and it was very different than any comic I've ever read. It was violent. It was gritty. It was scary. It was weird; it took place in New York, not in Gotham City or Metropolis. Nobody had any superpowers. It was political,” Damon said.
Watch: The trailer for the first season of Watchmen on HBO
Watchmen premiered on 20 October 2019 with new episodes available each week on Sunday.
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