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 mass 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 and often chaotic and jarring as f*ck and 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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