There are a number of TV reboots, revivals and continuations currently in the works for both linear TV and streaming studios, but seemingly the only project that might count as all three distinctions is Damon Lindelof's upcoming Watchmen series for HBO. Not much is actually known about what to expect, as it usually goes in Lindelof's mystery-driven career, but some early praise has come from star Don Johnson.
Co-star of Rian Johnson's upcoming crime drama Knives Out (which just released its first trailer), Don Johnson is one of Watchmen's more interesting casting choices. He'll play the non-comic role of Chief Judd Crawford, and that's about all we know about the character. But here's what Johnsons teased for potential viewers of the HBO superhero show:
[Fans] won’t believe what Damon has done with it and how amazing it is.
For what it's worth, Don Johnson didn't come into the project completely unaware of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's seminal opus. This was a guy at the peak of his Miami Vice fame in the 1980s when Watchmen was being released to comic readers. While he didn't go on any essay-length tangents about the plot or the characters with Collider, he did say his awareness of it came from it being "the classic graphic novel" that the industry looks to when telling comic book stories.
That's basically what Damon Lindelof has done with his upcoming Watchmen series, too. He took Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' iconic narrative, which had already been cut and pasted for Zack Snyder's 2009 feature, and he reinterpreted it with his 2019 mindset for a new, if somewhat familiar, take on the core concepts. Which is exactly the kind of feeling that one got watching the first big trailer: "Well, this looks like Watchmen stuff, only more of some things and less of others, and also, it's Don Johnson and Regina King."
Speaking of Regina King, who worked with Damon Lindelof of HBO's exquisite drama The Leftovers, which led to its own brand of fan theories, Don Johnson had nothing but good things to say about the If Beale Street Could Talk star. In his words:
There are certain actors you get each other from jump street. Others you have to work a little harder to make a connection and eventually you do. But Regina was like putting on a pair of well worn, comfortable Levi’s. She’s a wonderful actress. Talk about someone who can hit it back.
Regina King has long been one of Hollywood's most underutilized talents, and she remade a home for herself on the small screen with Southland, and hasn't left it behind since. Watchmen will be her biggest take on something so genre-heavy, too, as she's only appeared in a few episodes of The Strain in the past.
Too bad we don't know anything about her character, though, or how she ties in with Don Johnson's Judd Crawford. I mean, if I had to guess, I'd say that they work together on the police force, but she looks way more polished and official than his big-smiling shit-kicker. If you hadn't seen the trailer yet, check it out below.
For those who were previously unaware, Don Johnson and Damon Lindelof go way back, with the latter giving the up-and-coming writer a gig on CBS' Nash Bridges in 2000. Just a few years later, he was teaming with J.J. Abrams and Jeffrey Lieber and conceiving the first season of Lost. (A show that Lindelof can still get amusingly defensive about.)
Watchmen tells the story of one of the greatest and most complex superhero teams imaginable, and it'll be the first time that HBO taps into that kind of story material. Here's hoping it's exactly what the premium cabler needs to rise above the Game of Thrones aftermath without getting swallowed back up in adaptation arguments. The series also stars Tim Blake Nelson, Jouis Gossett Jr., Jeremy Irons, Sara Vickers, Frances Fisher, Tom Mison, Jean Smart and more awesome actors.
Without an official release date set just yet, Watchmen fans will have to spend the summer months anticipating its (for now) fall premiere window.