“Watchmen” Character Breakdowns Surprise

It has already been said that unlike Zack Snyder’s quite faithful film adaptation, HBO’s upcoming series take on Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” comics will be quite different.

That Hashtag Show have this weekend reportedly shared some descriptions for the show’s main characters and it suggests those reports are sort of true as there’s not a single recognisable character like The Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach, etc. amongst them. Here’s the casting breakdown:

Angela Abraham: African-American female cop. Independent and intelligent, she’s also a realist. She’s married to Cal, with whom she has a daughter and is fiercely protective of them both.

Cal Abraham: African-American male who is the stay-at-home husband of Angela. While he seems at home as the king of his castle and being a loving husband and father, it’s clear his past has a different story to tell.

Looking Glass: A good looking cop, the native Oklahoman isn’t simple as his rural accent makes him appear to be. A top interrogator and behavioral scientist, he may also be a bit of a sociopath.

Panda: An ethnic desk cop, he’s cynical and tough and puts his job first. Not a friend to many, he uses comedy to keep people at bay.

Red Scare: Mafioso, track suit wearing cop. His Russian accent lends to his abrasiveness.

Pirate Jenny: An androgynous and lustful bisexual cop, Jenny is an anarchist at heart.

Jane Crawford: The wife of the police chief, Judd, Jane is a veterinarian who’s sharper than her guarded persona lets on.

Old Man: A former cop who is still an imposing figure despite his age.

Of course a good possibility is that these are codenames and fake breakdowns to throw people off the scene of what they’re actually shooting as a show about Oklahoma police officers is probably not what people are expecting.

Nevertheless, speaking with Bookish with Sonya Walger last week, showrunner Damon Lindelof says don’t expect a direct adaptation of Alan Moore’s iconic comic in the way Snyder’s movie was:

“[Adapting] may be the right word, at the end of the day. Do you watch Fargo at all? I wouldn’t call Noah Hawley’s version of Fargo an adaptation because the movie exists inside of his world, and so everything that happened in the movie Fargo, it does precede the television show Fargo. So they find a bag of money in the first season, and you go, ‘Oh, that came from the movie.’

But it’s also, Noah is pulling from other areas of the Coen brothers’ canon, so it evokes like Lebowski, but it’s also his own thing. I think it’s widely known that Alan Moore does not want Watchmen to be adapted, so I’m playing a bit of a game of semantics here in saying, ‘I’m not adapting Watchmen!’

That’s the spirit of what he did with Watchmen in the first place. It’s not to take [anything from him]. He created this — it’s an original — but the basis for that world is on these other characters that DC had just bought from this comics company called Charlton. And he did rips on those characters.

But all of his other work that I love, whether it be Swamp Thing or an amazing Superman story called ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?,’ and a great Batman story. It’s sort of like, the idea that he came in and told iconic stories with characters that he didn’t create, and has now turned around and said, ‘You’re not allowed to do that with the characters that I created.’ So I feel like his own hypocrisy has allowed me to defy all his. [laughs]

HBO hasn’t begun filming the series yet so it’s not expected to premiere until late 2019 at the earliest.