On Saturday, Damon Lindelof, creator of The Leftovers and co-creator of Lost, talked all things TV with Mike Schur, the creator of The Good Place, as part of Vulture Fest in Los Angeles. The conversation touched on everything from “peak TV” to how Schur’s obsession with The Leftovers shaped The Good Place, but there was one thing on every comic book fan’s mind in the room: Watchmen.
Announced in September, HBO has ordered a pilot based off the Alan Moore comic with Lindelof serving as showrunner. While Lindelof was coy to talk about the series’ progress except to say there is an assembled writer’s room, he did talk about his mindset going into the project.
“For a superhero junkie I’d never done a superhero movie or superhero TV show, and now is the time.”
Lindelof, a life-long comic fan who spent a chunk of his childhood traveling to comic conventions to help his dad rebuild his childhood collection, first read Watchmen when he was 12 years old. Even though his father told him the series might be too mature for him, Lindelof ingested the book and it has stayed with him ever since. Comparing it to experiences like watching The Poltergeist or Porkys as a kid in the 80s, reading Watchmen, a book he happily calls “dangerous,” he described reading it as “sort of looking above our pay grade in terms of material.”
“The reason I’m doing this is these are dangerous times and we need dangerous shows. And what we think about superheroes is wrong. We think, and I love the Marvel movies and we saw Justice League this morning and I’m all for Wonder Woman and Batman, I grew up with these characters, I love these characters, but we should not trust people who put on masks and say that they are looking out for us. If you hide your face, you are up to no good.”
Lindelof, who called Moore “the greatest writer in the history of comics, and maybe one of the greatest writers of all time,” knows he doesn’t want the show to be developed. Despite this, Lindelof said the creative team is trying to figure out a way to “honor him” with the story as they move forward.
While he didn’t give any firm dates, he off-handedly said the show will be released in 2018 or 2019 “if it airs.”