Damon Lindelof, creator of Lost, wanted to make Watchmen for HBO really bad. However he was told over and over that he couldn’t without Alan Moore’s permission. Then he found a workaround.
Vulture reports: Lindelof is a longtime Watchmen superfan and Moore admirer, so when HBO and Warner asked him to do something with the book on television, he initially refused. They asked again; again, he turned them down. But on that third time … well, he started wondering whether he might be able to do something interesting with it. It was soon after that I received an odd email asking if I’d be willing to speak with Lindelof about a mysterious matter. We scheduled a phone call, during which he explained that he had read a Vulture essay I’d published just a few days prior. DC had started to incorporate Watchmen’s characters into their mainstream superhero universe, meaning they could meet up with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest of the gang. I thought this was a bad idea.
Lindelof was receptive to that argument and, after swearing me to secrecy, told me about the HBO/Warner offer and asked if I thought it would be smart to move forward, considering their history with Moore. I told him it was probably unethical, but that if he went through with it, there were ways he could make it interesting. Eight months later, it was announced that Lindelof was making a Watchmen series. Later, he published an open letter (which I offered some prepublication notes on, per his request) saying the show would not be a straight adaptation, but rather a “remix.” Over the next year, we emailed occasionally about how the series was developing. I was far from a consultant on the show — indeed, I knew no details until I saw media screeners a few weeks ago — but I told him he owed me a big interview before it came out. “A Lindelof always pays his debts,” was his response.”
He’s also pretty sure that Moore, an avowed practitioner of magic, put a curse on him. No, seriously.
Watchmen premieres Sunday, October 20 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.