HBO’s Watchmen Premiere Date Announced in Very Watchmen Way

There could be no other way to finally, officially announce the premiere date for HBO’s Watchmen. The adaptation of the iconic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons has taken one of the most memorable motifs in Watchmen’s world—the Doomsday Clock—and used it to reveal when the series would finally appear on HBO:

HBO has been highly secretive about the series, but what we’ve seen thus far has us both curious and optimistic. Moore and Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel has been notoriously difficult to adapt (and Moore himself has never been a big fan of any attempt). Zack Snyder tried a big-screen adaptation, with mixed results, in 2009. Snyder’s take did its best to stick to the source material; Lindelof and his team are going a different route.

HBO’s Watchmen is set in an alternate universe where superheroes are outlawed, Vietnam is a part of the United States, and the characters that survived through the pages of the original work are living in a very panicky, dangerous environment. The trailer revealed that when vigilantes pulled off a coordinated attack on the Tulsa police, the police start donning masks to protect themselves. We know that Oscar-winner Regina King is one of those masked police officers, playing Angela Akbar and that her family was one of those attacked. King’s a phenomenal actress—one of many in the large ensemble cast—and is once again reuniting with Lindelof after her work in his truly exceptional series The Leftovers.

Original characters from the graphic novel return, like the immensely powerful Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons), better known as Ozymandias. The last time we left Ozymandias, he was living on Mars at the end of the novel. This was due in part to the fact that the masked detective Rorschach had sent his journal to the press, letting them know the full, grisly story of Veidt’s actions. The trailer also revealed that an entire legion of Rorschach-like followers, inspired by his masked sleuthing, is carrying on his legacy. The cops are in masks, the outlaws are in masks, and everyone not in a mask is left to wonder who’s good and who’s bad. That’s when Ozymandias returns from Mars, promising us that “nothing ever ends.” What an anxious, terrifying America these pour souls live in!

And how about this cast? Joining King and Irons are Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk. The music comes from a pair of superhero talents—Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The pilot was directed by Nicole Kassell and written by Lindelof.

We can’t wait for October 20.

For more on Watchmen, check out a batch of photos, and check out the official trailer.

Featured image: Regina King. Photo: Mark Hill/HBO


Bryan Abrams

Bryan Abrams is the Editor-in-chief of The Credits. He's run the site since its launch in 2012. He lives in New York.