HBO’s Watchmen is going to debut in a few weeks and the wait is killing us. Many details remain under wraps about this project, but we finally get to know a bit more about it in a new interview with series writer-producer Damon Lindelof. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Lindelof revealed why the show is set in Oklahoma and not in a big city like New York.
“The superhero genre always feels like it takes place in New York, Gotham City or Metropolis,” Lindelof said. “And Gotham City and Metropolis are just New York paradigms. So I was like: What does a superhero show look like in Oklahoma? That idea was interesting to me in terms of what it would look and feel like and kinds of people we would populate it with. I also just felt that tickle in my gut that was like, do it here. That tickle has not always steered me right but it is the thing that makes me do the things I do.” He adds that the show will also strongly reference the Tulsa race riot of 1921.
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Lindelof went on to explain why Watchmen is more than just a simple superhero deconstruction story, like so many we see nowadays.
“In Watchmen, nobody has superpowers — the only super-powered individual is Dr. Manhattan and he’s not currently on the planet,” Lindelof said. “In The Boys, you have superpowered individuals in capes that can shoot lasers out of their eyes and fly around and have feats of strength and turn invisible. Nobody on Watchmen can do that. So I felt like we wouldn’t be deconstructing the superhero myth because all the characters in Watchmen are just humans who play dress up.
“It would be more interesting to ask psychological questions about why do people dress up, why is hiding their identity a good idea, and there are interesting themes to explore here when your mask both hides you and shows you at the same time — because your mask is actually a reflection in yourself,” he added. “What’s the trauma an individual has that goes into the mask they wear? All that felt Watchmen-y to me. Again, these are not original ideas, but ones I thought were timely when we all have these different identities in code now.”
We will see how well Lindelof will be able to develop his ideas, which sound pretty good on paper.
HBO’s Watchmen series premieres on October 20. Do you like the fact that the story does not take place in a New York lookalike city? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.