'Watchmen' Creator Alan Moore Chastised HBO Series Showrunner About 'Embarrassing' Adaption

"I don't want anything to do with you or your show," Alan Moore recalled telling Damon Lindelof when he reached out via a letter

Alan Moore, taken on September 6, 2013. Moore is often considered the finest writer in the comics medium, and is best known for his graphic novels Watchmen and V For Vendetta. (Photo by Kevin Nixon/SFX Magazine/Future via Getty Images); Photograph by Mark Hill/HBO Yahya Abdul-Mateen II HBO Watchmen
Photo: Kevin Nixon/SFX Magazine/Future/Getty; Mark Hill/HBO

Watchmen creator Alan Moore revealed his terse response to the showrunner of the 2019 HBO series based on his comics when that person reached out via a letter ahead of production. Moore did not name the showrunner, but Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof served in the role.

Inspired by Moore's iconic 1987 graphic novel of the same name, the series was set in an "alternate history" and tackled themes of police brutality and systemic racism. There was also a 2009 film adaptation directed by Zack Snyder, starring Malin Akerman and Billy Crudup.

Speaking to GQ in an interview published on Tuesday, Moore, 68, shared that a few years back, he received "a frank letter" from the showrunner of the HBO series, who Moore claimed stated he was "one of the bastards currently destroying Watchmen." Moore was not amused, he said.

Alan Moore attends a book signing at Waterstone's, Piccadilly. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
rune hellestad/Corbis/Getty

Noting that the line "wasn't the best opener," he explained the content of the message — which appeared to him as "neurotic rambling" — included a question that read, "Can you at least tell us how to pronounce 'Ozymandias?'" That was a reference to a character in his novel.

"I got back with a very abrupt and probably hostile reply, telling him that I'd thought that Warner Bros. were aware that they, nor any of their employees, shouldn't contact me again for any reason," he told GQ. "I explained that I had disowned the work in question, 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,'" Moore continued.

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After learning that the show scored 11 wins at the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, Moore started to contemplate the audience's perception of Watchmen.

"I thought, 'Oh, god, perhaps a large part of the public, this is what they think Watchmen was?' They think that it was a dark, gritty, dystopian superhero franchise that was something to do with white supremacism. Did they not understand Watchmen?" he said.

"Watchmen was nearly 40 years ago and was relatively simple in comparison with a lot of my later work," he explained. "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."

From executive producer Lindelof, the HBO series premiered in October 2019 and starred Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons, Louis Gossett Jr., Jean Smart, Hong Chau, and Don Johnson.

RELATED: Watchmen Star Jovan Adepo Says He "Didn't Think It Was Real" When He Got Nominated

In addition to the Emmy trophies, the show also won a Peabody Award for Entertainment, with King, 51, at the time speaking on the forgotten true history of the Tulsa Race Massacre, which is at the heart of the show's premise.

Despite the acclaim reception, Lindelof, 49, told Entertainment Weekly in December 2019, there are no plans for a Watchmen season 2, though he wouldn't be opposed to more stories set in an alternate reality, provided they find another worthy story.

"There's always going to be space for more Watchmen. I feel like this world is so expansive — hopefully more expansive now than it was before," he said at the time. "You could call something Watchmen and not even feature any of the characters who were in the original or in this season as long as they all occupy the same world."

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