Skip to main content

HBO’s Watchmen series arrives this October, just in time for Halloween

Watchmen | Official Comic-Con Trailer | HBO

HBO knows that the end of October is the perfect time to slip on a costume and cause some nighttime mischief. The masked vigilantes of Watchmen, HBO’s loose adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel, take to the streets starting October 20, 2019.

Previously, HBO dropped a Watchmen trailer at Comic-Con International 2019, confirming that the upcoming series is more of a “remix” of the comic than a straight-up adaptation. The show, which was created and overseen by Lost and The Leftoversmastermind Damon Lindelof, borrows imagery and themes from Moore and Gibbons’ source material and uses it to tell a new story, although it’s possible that the series will double as a sequel to the comic as well.

In HBO’s Watchmen, vigilantes sporting masks like the one worn by one of Watchmen‘s heroes, Rorschach, have launched a coordinated attack on Tulsa’s police officers. In response, the cops begin wearing masks to hide their identities. The ensuing conflict looks like it will be a battle between the vigilantes and the authorities, with Oscar-winner Regina King’s Angela Abar caught in somewhere in the middle.

That’s a big departure from the book, which is about a team of former superheroes coming out of hiding when their former comrades begin dying. Still, despite the differences, a few familiar faces pop up in the trailer: Jeremy Irons appears as an older Adrian Veidt, the mastermind behind the comic’s doomsday plot, while the all-blue super-scientist Dr. Manhattan makes a mysterious trip to Earth from his hideout on Mars.

Judging by the trailer, shying away from a direct adaptation was a smart move on Lindelof’s part. A new story should keep the action fresh for both newcomers and die-hard fans, and we’ve seen what happens when Watchmen is adapted too literally. Zack Snyder’s big-screen Watchmen flick, which hit theaters in 2009, copied many scenes from the comic shot-for-shot and lost the story’s soul in the process.

Besides, if you don’t like HBO’s take on the material? It’s not a problem. Moore and Gibbons’ original story can be found in libraries and comic shops across the country. If you want the classic story, all you need to do is pick it up and start reading.

Updated on September 3, 2019: Added premiere date.

Editors' Recommendations

Chris Gates
Christopher Gates lives in Los Angeles, CA and writes about movies, TV, video games, and other pop culture curiosities. In…
The 10 most controversial moments at San Diego Comic-Con
A banner for "San Diego Comic-Con."

San Diego Comic-Con is one of the most highly-anticipated events in pop culture. Hordes of fans gather from around the world to show off their cosplays, get celebrity autographs, or see film and TV studios' big reveals live and in person.

But such a huge cultural event has had more than its fair share of controversy over the years. With 2023's convention now open for business, fans should take a moment to acknowledge the more contentious moments in SDCC's history.
The Rhys Ifans incident

Read more
10 biggest celebrities ever to visit SDCC
A banner for "San Diego Comic-Con."

During its heyday, Comic-Con could host as many celebrities as the Oscars, and sometimes even more. What's more, sometimes those celebrities would go to absurd lengths to entertain the fans who had assembled for whatever upcoming project they were there to tease.

While trailers are well and good, and every Comic-Con has a few great moments, celebrities are ultimately the thing many people want to see the most. These are the 10 biggest celebrities to ever attend the convention.
Johnny Depp

Read more
What is Hall H? An insider’s guide to SDCC’s hottest place to be
The cast of The Avengers and Joss Whedon at Comic-Con 2015.

If you've come out to San Diego Comic-Con to see the movie and TV stars, then I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed this year. The writers' and actors' strikes mean that the biggest Hollywood guests are skipping Comic-Con for the first time in over two decades. And that means the infamous Hall H will largely be vacant this year. That said, there are a few Hall H panels, and it's always useful to know what you're in for.

The first thing you need to know is that Hall H is simply another hall on the San Diego Convention Center floor, at least most of the time. During other conventions, it's just another place for foot traffic. But in 2003, Comic-Con officials realized that there just wasn't enough space to host the biggest events of the con. Thus, in 2004, Hall H became the de facto largest panel room at Comic-Con. It can hold 6,500 people, and that still wasn't enough to meet the demand of fans who wanted to see the biggest previews and the top Hollywood stars.

Read more