Damon Lindelof has said that the Watchmen TV show he’s making for HBO is a “remixed” version of the story rather than a direct adaptation or sequel, but that always seemed like code for “we’re telling a Watchmen story but please don’t get mad at us for changing things.” That being said, some set photos indicated that the show will be taking place after the storyline of the comic—not the movie—making his assertion that it’s a “remix” and not a “sequel” seem a little questionable. Now, Watchmen artist and co-creator Dave Gibbons has given what we’re going to consider the definitive take on this, telling Deadline at New York Comic Con (Comicvention) that the TV show is “yet another variation” of the “alternative reality” established by the comics. In other words, it’s not the same universe as the comic, the movie, or our actual reality.
Gibbons also noted that he has only read the screenplay for HBO’s Watchmen, so he can’t comment on “the tone or the way the thing’s been shot,” but he says the reality of this new series “feels quite authentic.” He also notes that “it’s not here, it’s not now, it’s something slightly sideways,” which seemingly implies that the story will be more contemporary than the ‘80s setting of the original story.
There’s no word on how Watchmen writer Alan Moore feels about any of this, but after everything DC’s done to the book in the last few decades, he probably couldn’t care less.