Watchmen introduced Wade Tillman, a.k.a. Looking Glass, early on in the HBO series and his backstory coincided with Adrian Veidt’s teleporting squid incident in 1985. Preaching about sinners to local amusement park goers, Wade ends up deceived and naked inside the hall of mirrors. He may have managed to avoid the psychic blast that killed everyone at the park, but Wade’s life was never the same again after that. However, Watchmen’s Tim Blake Nelson recently revealed that Looking Glass’ whole origin story was completely changed during filming.
Watchmen has been lauded by viewers and critics alike for its gripping story and exploration of race in the U.S. But, as Damon Lindelof mapped out what Wade’s storyline would be, the showrunner ended up scrapping the initial idea and rewrote Wade’s origin. That repurposed story was what viewers saw in the fifth episode, “Little Fear of Lightning,” which included the psychic blast that traumatized Wade for life.
At the point of the change, however, Watchmen had already wrapped filming on three of its nine episodes. What was Wade’s original backstory? Here’s what Tim Blake Nelson told EW Live:
That certainly sounds interesting and would have gone hand-in-hand with Watchmen’s central story. We may never know what Wade being in an interracial relationship would have looked like onscreen, but I wouldn’t mind it if HBO released a featurette about the making of Watchmen to find out more about it.
All that said, Tim Blake Nelson ultimately believes that the change was “a better decision for the show as a whole.” Luckily for Nelson, Damon Lindelof altering Wade’s origin story after they’d already begun filming Watchmen didn’t actually change any of the major decisions he’d already made about how to play the character. Here’s how he put it:
That’s great news as I imagine it would’ve been hard for Tim Blake Nelson to start from scratch with his portrayal, especially since he’d already been playing Wade for three episodes. Honestly, Damon Lindelof sounds like a great and collaborative showrunner and it’s pretty awesome to hear about the details that ultimately became Watchmen.
Watchmen is currently available to stream on HBO Max. For more on what to watch, be sure to check out our 2020 summer TV schedule for premiere dates and times.
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