Watchmen TV Series Pilot Confirmed By HBO

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HBO already seems to be planning ahead and attempting to find a popular show that will fill the Game of Thrones void that is sure to come at the end of the eighth and final season; that new television series just might be an adaptation of Watchmen, a superhero, dystopian graphic novel written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons.

Watchmen is set in an alternate, dystopian world where superheroes are a normal part of our reality and their actions have altered the progression of history. It takes place during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1985. After a member of their squad has been murdered, a group of retired, American superheroes called the Watchmen investigate the culprit and uncover a worldwide conspiracy.

While not a lot of details have been released, a TV pilot has been ordered along with additional scripts, giving fans the assumption that there’s a full series in the works. The news was originally released by Damon Lindelof, a producer who previously worked on The Leftovers for HBO.

Image via Google Images/ collider.com

Lindelof sent out an image on his Instagram account of a trophy standing on a table in a writer’s room. The trophy also had the inscription “In Gratitude” printed on it, making it most likely a replica of the retirement trophy the character Nite Owl receives in the comic books, which many fans of the comic series and film should recognize. The caption beneath the image read, “Day One,” alerting fans that the production of the show has begun. HBO confirmed that the TV pilot is currently underway only one day after Lindelof leaked the news.

While the comic books were a limited series that had a definitive ending, adaptations of the superhero, dystopian world keep being made. The director Zack Snyder created a film adaptation of Watchmen back in 2009, featuring actors like Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian. Back in 2012, DC Comics also released a mini-series that included up to 37 comic issues designed as a prequel to the original comics entitled Before Watchmen, which went into further detail about the individual superheroes.

Image via Google Images/ superherohype.com

Based on the adaptations that came before it, the news of a Watchmen TV series may be received unfavorably by fans, since many prefer the original comics, and believe Snyder’s film was a flop. For this new adaptation to be a success, Lindelof will certainly need to expand the Watchmen universe beyond what was previously depicted in the comics, since there’s not enough material to allow the series to continue for multiple seasons. While HBO has produced limited series in the past, such as The Night Of and Big Little Lies, Watchmen may benefit as a TV series with multiple seasons because it could explore the backstory of each individual character in more depth than the film previously allowed.

It’s also curious if the TV series will be faithful to the plot of the original comics. Zack Synder’s film adaptation of Watchmen had a very different ending from the comic books, which was, in my own opinion, a godsend. When discussing the finale to Game of Thrones, HBO’s President of Programming, Casey Bloys, commented on the difficulty associated with creating an ending to a series that will please the fan base. Unfortunately, the Watchmen series will be doomed to disappoint before they’ve even started if they plan to stick with the same ending written by Alan Moore.

While Watchmen has been considered a difficult story to adapt to any medium other than comics, the project seems pretty promising under the guidance of Lindelof, who has produced complicated projects in the past, including Lost and The Leftovers. With superhero TV shows rising in popularity, Lindelof’s Watchmen series will be HBO’s first superhero-based television show, which also happens to match HBO’s brand perfectly as a dark, satirical R-rated drama.

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