Newly retired comic writer Alan Moore has always had a prickly relationship with adaptations of his work, either because he doesn’t like people messing with his creations or because the adaptations of his work have almost all been terrible, but he’s never really had a leg to stand on when it comes to these adaptations since most of the famous stuff he worked on is fully owned by DC Comics—like Watchmen and V For Vendetta, not to mention Superman and Swamp Thing. Still, HBO apparently thought it would be worthwhile to try and get his input on its upcoming Watchmen sequel thing, with HBO’s president of programming Casey Bloys noting that Moore is “not thrilled” with the adaptation at a recent Television Critics Association presentation.
However, that response isn’t going to sway Damon Lindelof, the showrunner on HBO’s series, because he says rejecting the original creator’s intentions with a creation is actually just in keeping with everything Alan Moore is about. Here’s a quote, via Entertainment Weekly:
I do feel like the spirit of Alan Moore is a punk rock spirit, a rebellious spirit, and that if you would tell Alan Moore, a teenage Moore in ’85 or ’86, “You’re not allowed to do this because Superman’s creator or Swamp Thing’s creator doesn’t want you to do it,” he would say, “Fuck you, I’m doing it anyway.” So I’m channeling the spirit of Alan Moore to tell Alan Moore, “Fuck you, I’m doing it anyway.”
He also says that he doesn’t think he’s “made peace” with Moore’s rejection of the new show, but he will respect Moore request to not be associated with the project in any way. Lindelof also says he “went through a very intense period of terror of fucking it up,” and while he’s not sure that won’t happen, he does say that he had to distance himself from his appreciation for the original Watchmen story in order to be willing to “take risks” with it.
We’ll see how this all works out when Watchmen hits HBO in October.