HBO has released a new featurette about their upcoming show Watchmen, a sequel to the groundbreaking 1986 comic by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins. The featurette includes clips of the show’s creative team delving into what the show will be exploring.
— Watchmen (@watchmen) September 9, 2019
“Watchmen examines how we, as a society, feel about heroes”, said series creator and showrunner Damon Lindelof in the above featurette. “Most notably people who wear masks and fight crime.”
Lindelof goes on to talk about the emergence of a new terrorist organisation known as the Seventh Cavalry, who are all clad in Rorschach masks. Some dialogue from Don Johnson’s character reveals that the Cavalry are involved in some incident, which Regina King describes as having the police resort to wearing masks in order to protect their families.
The theme of masks is very prevalent in this featurette and seems to point to what the overall theme of the show might be, which is about how a society copes when all sides wear masks. Jean Smart’s character notes that “you can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys because they’re all hiding their faces.”
This is all seems like a natural extension of what Moore, Gibbons, and Higgins explored in the comic. Superheroes were lambasted by society because they could not be held accountable for their own actions, but what if everybody wore a mask? The show looks to be exploring this dichotomy, best exemplified by a character stating that masks save lives. Jeremy Irons’ Adrian Veidt retorts that masks make men cruel.
HBO’s Watchmen is premiering next month, on October 20. Fans attending this year’s New York Comic Con will be able to watch the first episode of the series if they can find their way into the Watchmen panel.