With the TV series of Watchmen soon to air on HBO, series showrunner Damon Lindelof has broached creator Alan Moore's lack of support for the show.
HBO president Casey Bloys admitted at the Television Critics Association summer press event yesterday that the reclusive writer is indeed still 'not thrilled' about the adaptation of his work.
Read more: Netflix shares fall as US subscribers drop
This is likely an understatement, but now Damon Lindelof has dropped in his two cents too, calling Moore's distance from the project 'an ongoing wrestling match'.
Speaking on the same press tour, the Lost and The Leftovers creator and writer of Prometheus said: “I don’t think that I’ve made peace with it. Alan Moore is a genius, in my opinion, the greatest writer in the comic medium and maybe the greatest writer of all time.
“He’s made it very clear that he doesn’t want to have any association or affiliation with Watchmen ongoing and that we not use his name to get people to watch it, which I want to respect.”
So far, so respectful.
Then he continues: “As someone who’s entire identity is based around a very complicated relationship with my dad, who I constantly need to prove myself to and never will, Alan Moore is now that surrogate.
“The wrestling match will continue. I do feel like the spirit of Alan Moore is a punk rock spirit, a rebellious spirit, and that if you would tell Alan Moore, a teenage Moore in 85 or 86, ‘You’re not allowed to do this because Superman’s creator or Swamp Thing’s creator doesn’t want you to do it,’ he would say, ‘F**k you, I’m doing it anyway.’
Read more: First look at The Two Popes
“So I’m channeling the spirit of Alan Moore to tell Alan Moore, ‘F*** you, I’m doing it anyway.'”
Fully realising the controversial nature of his comments, he then added that they were purposely 'clickbait', before going on to say: “Everything that happened in those 12 issues [of Moore's original comic series] could not be messed with. We were married to it. There is no rebooting it.
“All I can say is I love the source material. I went through a very intense period of terror of f**king it up. I’m not entirely sure I’m out of that tunnel. But I have a tremendous amount of respect for this. I had to separate myself a little bit from this incredible reverence to take risks.”
Moore has never been in the least bit interested in having his work adapted for the screen.
He called Zack Snyder's feature adaptation of Watchmen in 2009 'a wretched film' and asked DC Comics never to contact him again after he claimed they tried to manipulate him into agreeing to sell Watchmen-related product lines.
But Dave Gibbons, co-creator of Watchmen seems far more open.
“I do know a little about it,” he said last year. “I’ve had conversations with Damon, and I’ve read the screenplay for the pilot. I don’t think it’s my place to say too much about it, other than I found Damon’s approach to be really refreshing and exciting and unexpected.
“I don’t think it’s gonna be what people think it’s going to be. It certainly wasn’t what I imagined it to be. I think it’s extremely fresh. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the screen.”
The show will debut in October on HBO.