TULSA, Okla. - HBO’s retelling of the 1986 comic series “Watchmen” brings the celebrated story to a new place: Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The DC Comics graphic novel has only been adapted once before, in 2009. The new show marks the first time “Watchmen” is made for the small screen.
HBO said the series is set in “an alternate history where superheroes are outlawed.” While the present-day setting of the show may reflect an alternate history (President Robert Redford), it’s grounded in very real events.
“Watchmen” opens with a dramatic depiction of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, according to an early review from Rolling Stone. For many people, it will likely be the first time they’ve heard about the attack on the thriving Black Wall Street in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood by white Tulsans. Entire city blocks, homes, businesses and lives were destroyed.
The true extent of the damage done is still not fully understood today. The City of Tulsa began looking for mass graves from the massacre in October after decades of rumors, and disputes of the official death count. The city is using ground penetration radar at four sites in search of answers.
Series creator Damon Lindelof (“The Leftovers,” “Lost”) told the Associated Press he wanted to create a show that reckoned with race relations in America because that is what he sees the country dealing with now.
The cast includes Regina King, Don Johnson, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeremy Irons and Tulsa-native Tim Blake Nelson.
“Watchmen” premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. central time on HBO, HBO Go and HBO Now. Tulsa’s Circle Cinema is hosting a free watch party.
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