Damon Lindelof Clarifies Watchmen's TV Show's Canon And Relation To The Movie

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(Image credit: Mark Hill / HBO)

Damon Lindelof has clarified the Watchmen TV show’s canon in relation to the movie. The latter an adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ limited comic book series of the same name. Zack Snyder directed the 2009 film. Ten years after its release, the HBO series inspired by the comic/movie is set to arrive in October.

In the lead-up to Watchmen’s release, there have been a lot of questions. One of which is how the series’ canon will connect to the movie’s storyline. For instance, does it even exist in the show’s timeline? The creator of the TV series, Damon Lindelof, clarified the situation. Asked if what happened in the comic/film also occurred in the world of HBO’s Watchmen, Lindelof told EW:

Yes. Look, [the new series] certainly fits into the ‘sequel’ box, and definitely doesn’t fit into the ‘reboot’ box. We treat the original 12 issues as canon. They all happened. We haven’t done any revisionist history, but we can maneuver in between the cracks and crevices and find new stories there. But for all the reasons you just articulated, we wanted to make sure our first episode felt like the beginning of a new story rather than a continuation of an old story. That’s what I think a sequel is — the continuation of an old story.

So, Watchmen is going to respect the canon established in the comics. Damon Lindelof acknowledges that the show checks the “sequel box” and will include all 12 of the original issues as part of the HBO series’ canon.

That said, Watchmen is not looking to re-tread that story either, rather start its own, while basing it in the same world. From the sound of things, my take is the canon of Watchmen exists and impacted the world shown in the HBO series.

Damon Lindelof has previously said that HBO’s Watchmen series would not be an exact adaptation of the comic. Accordingly, the handling of one of its source material’s most controversial elements is already known. Excitement for fans of the comic and the movie adaptation can continue to build as it seems their worlds will share a history.

A reveal that means all the time you spent reading the comic and watching the movie should be useful in navigating the show. Something that fans of both should be enthused by. It also sounds like HBO’s Watchmen will have its own world, which those both familiar and unfamiliar with the comic/movie will be able to get into.

A first look at the series arrived towards the beginning of the year. It gave prospective viewers a teaser of what to expect. Watchmen is coming full-tilt with a top-notch cast that is bound to blow fans away.

On that note, HBO dropped the first official trailer for the series back in May. If featured references back to the comic. Given the now-confirmed canon connection that makes even more sense now.

Don Johnson has teased that he thinks fans will not believe how good the HBO series is. They are closer to finding out! As of today (September 19), the premiere is almost exactly one month away! In case you need an extra dose of enthusiasm, CinemaBlend’s Mike Reyes has already outlined why you should be excited about the Watchmen series.

Watchmen (the TV series) will premiere October 20 on HBO. The highly-anticipated drama is one of this fall’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.