While Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen graphic novel divided fans (and was disowned by Moore), the film still follows the source material rather closely. Damon Lindelof’s upcoming HBO series, however, will mark a massive departure from both the comics and its big-screen treatment.
The new Watchmen series is a sequel that takes place decades after the events of the comics, and the story switches the location from New York City to Tulsa, Oklahoma. While these events take place in an alternate history version of our world, the decision to base the story in Tulsa suggests that race themes and other hot-button issues will be examined.
In 1921, a riot took place in the city that destroyed the lives of many Black citizens. As the trailer shows, the show will feature chaos reminiscent of those events, as well as some of the awful stories that have made the news in recent times. Watchmen appears to be addressing a number of disturbingly topical issues, from the rise of militias to the distrust of law enforcement, and it’s bound to provoke some interesting conversations when it debuts this fall.
In the meantime, check out the trailer below and then join me as I dissect the most notable scenes.
The trailer opens with black cars entering a cemetery. Officers guard the area and the neighboring street, which means the funeral is likely being attended by some very important people. The property is called “Tartarus Acres,” which is a reference to a hellish abyss in Greek mythology.
Cut to Angela Abar (Regina King), a police officer and vigilante who wears a mask to protect her identity from terrorists. The items in her box also suggest that she’s religious.
In this scene, we meet an older version of Silk Spectre II, who’s now calling herself Laurie Blake (Jean Smart). She isn’t the biggest fan of masked vigilantes or people who wear masks in general — regardless of their reasoning for doing so.
The masks worn by the extremists — they call themselves the Seventh Calvary — are reminiscent of the one donned by Rorschach. In the years that have passed since we last explored this world, the sociopathic character has inspired a group that adheres to his unyielding — and warped — vision of justice.
In this scene, we’re introduced to Don Johnson as Police Chief Judd Crawford. According to the rumor mill, however, he’s actually an older version of Dan Drieberg, also known as the Nite Owl. Details about his character have been kept close to the vest for now, so expect some surprising revelations when the show arrives.