Alan Moore Slams Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen Series

Fan skepticism aside, Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series was a bona fide success for HBO in 2019. The show made the bold decision to tell an all-new story set several decades after Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal comic book series. Regardless, the gamble paid off in the long run thanks to its astute social commentary and top-notch performances. Lindelof has previously stated that his efforts to get Moore’s blessing for the show ultimately fell on deaf ears. Now, almost three years after the series ended, Moore himself is sharing his reaction to Lindelof’s overtures.

Moore is currently making the rounds promoting Illuminations, his new collection of short fiction. Perhaps inevitably, many of these conversations are steering toward his disdain for the comic industry as a whole, along with his stance on adaptations of his work, which hasn’t changed over the years. But while speaking with GQ, Moore recalled getting a “frank” letter from Lindelof explaining his goals for Watchmen. Moore famously refuses to watch any live-action translations of his stories. Unfortunately, not even Lindelof’s tongue-in-cheek attempt at self-awareness could sway the original comic’s co-creator.

“I think it opened with, ‘Dear Mr. Moore, I am one of the bastards currently destroying Watchmen,’” revealed Moore. “That wasn’t the best opener. It went on through a lot of, what seemed to me to be, neurotic rambling. ‘Can you at least tell us how to pronounce Ozymandias?’ I got back with a very abrupt and probably hostile reply telling him that I’d thought that Warner Brothers were aware that they, nor any of their employees, shouldn’t contact me again for any reason.”

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“I explained that I had disowned the work in question,” continued Moore. “And partly that was because the film industry and the comics industry seemed to have created things that had nothing to do with my work, but which would be associated with it in the public mind. I said, ‘Look, this is embarrassing to me. I don’t want anything to do with you or your show. Please don’t bother me again.’”

Watchmen managed to become a hit without Moore’s seal of approval. By the time it ended its nine-episode run, many critics had praised it as one of the best new shows of 2019. The following year, it also took home 11 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Lead Actress for Regina King and Outstanding Lead Actor for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Lindelof and his fellow executive producers even won the award for Outstanding Limited Series. Still, Moore wasn’t the least bit impressed.

“When I saw the television industry awards that the Watchmen television show had apparently won, I thought, ‘Oh, god, perhaps a large part of the public, this is what they think Watchmen was?’” said Moore. “They think that it was a dark, gritty, dystopian superhero franchise that was something to do with white supremacism. Did they not understand Watchmen? Watchmen was nearly 40 years ago and was relatively simple in comparison with a lot of my later work. What are the chances that they broadly understood anything since? This tends to make me feel less than fond of those works. They mean a bit less in my heart.”

What do you think about Moore’s remarks? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

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