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Jimmie Tramel: Stay tuned for updates about 'Watchmen,' HBO series with Tulsa ties

Jimmie Tramel: Stay tuned for updates about 'Watchmen,' HBO series with Tulsa ties

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Want to know more about an HBO series that will be seemingly set in Tulsa?

You’ll have to wait a bit longer.

The series, expected to debut in the fall, is “Watchmen” and it’s a follow-up to source material from a revered 1986 miniseries/graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

If you were to ask me what the original Watchmen story was about, instead of attempting a legitimate answer, I might respond with words that sound like a relationship status on social media: It’s complicated. The Watchmen is as good as it gets in the graphic novel field — but it’s not easily nutshelled for those who aren’t familiar with the material.

The miniseries/graphic novel is not set in Tulsa. Neither was a 2009 movie adaptation. But word trickled out (unofficially) in June of 2018 that the pilot for the TV series will be Tulsa-centric.

Macon, Georgia, was used as a film site and unofficial set photos leaked showing the town is intended to be Tulsa. One of the photos showed a copy of the Tulsa World and a copy of a fictional newspaper, the Tulsa Sun.

An HBO publicist was asked recently if a premiere date has been announced and, at some point, can someone tackle the question of why the pilot is set in Tulsa? The publicist responded by saying she would be happy to discuss interviews once more information is released. But, as of now, this is the only info available:

“Set in an alternate history where ‘superheroes’ are treated as outlaws, this drama series from executive producer Damon Lindelof embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own.”

The cast will include Tulsa’s Tim Blake Nelson, plus Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Louis Gossett, Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing and James Wolk.

It seemed like we might be due for an outbreak of new “Watchmen” information this week. San Diego Comic-Con will take place July 18-21 and, if you want to promote a project, it’s often done there because SDCC is, at least temporarily, the pop culture center of the universe.

A June 27 news release said HBO is bringing three series to San Diego Comic-Con. “Watchmen” is not one of them. Panels and autograph signing sessions for “His Dark Materials,” “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld” are scheduled at the convention.

However, “Watchmen” was mentioned in the news release, which said fans should look around San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter for a surprise “in-world” opportunity to engage with the new HBO series. Hmmmm. If anyone from Tulsa is headed to SDCC, check that out for us.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep an eye out for more tidbits.

Last year, a Macon television station reported the filming site for “Watchmen” was being transformed into a town called “Greenwood.” Greenwood is a Tulsa neighborhood that was regarded as “Black Wall Street” prior to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Also in 2018, Lindelof posted a five-page letter to Instagram about “Watchmen” and his involvement, saying he was 12 years old when he was given the first two issues of the 12-issue Watchmen miniseries by his father. He has respect for what came before and said he is “remixing” rather than adapting the source material, which he said was canon.

An article on said Nine Inch Nails musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are creating music for the HBO series. The same article suggests watching “The Leftovers” to get a sense of Lindelof’s work on HBO “or ‘Westworld’ if you are looking for another new spin on good guys vs. bad guys.”

A “Watchmen” teaser trailer has been released. It shows Johnson’s character saying, “We convinced ourselves that they were gone. But they were just hibernating.”

Tick. Tock.

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Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389

Twitter: @JimmieTramel


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Scene Writer

I cover pop culture and work as a feature writer at the Tulsa World. A former Oklahoma sports writer of the year, I have written books about former OU coach Barry Switzer and former OSU coach Pat Jones. Phone: 918-581-8389

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