The various attempts at adapting the “unadaptable” Watchmen comic series are almost as legendary as the books themselves. A movie version of Watchmen was hovering around development hell for nearly 20 years until Zack Snyder finally brought his slow motion-filled adaptation to the big screen in 2009, and reports Snyder was approached to develop a TV series about the antiheroes for HBO were revealed in 2015.
Since that project fell apart, Warner Bros. announced they were making an R-rated animated version of the Alan Moore’s nihilistic-yet-hopeful superhero tale and now we’re here — Damon Lindelof, hot off the finale of The Leftovers, has been tasked with bringing Watchmen to the small screen by HBO, Variety reports. After multiple tries, HBO really wants this adaptation, it seems.
And if there’s anyone who can spearhead a weird tale full of heroes you’re not sure are worth rooting for with an overarching plot that’s open to interpretation, it’s Lindelof. He has some experience with such narratives.
It’s impossible to argue that TV is the best home for Watchmen. The movie felt far too truncated, despite the efforts of David Hayter (Solid Snake himself) and Alex Tse doing what they could to fit one of the densest stories in comic history to a single movie. If HBO allows Lindelof to explore the side plots like the Black Freighter and let the story breathe, this could end up as the definitive, proper, live-action adaptation we’ve always wanted. Hell, we might get two worthy adaptations if the animated version is up to snuff.
Of course, Lindelof could show up to Comic-Con and say: “All of the fans of the source material will ask for a coherent ending loyal to the book, and I’ll look down and whisper ‘no.'”
For more on the challenges of adapting Watchmen, please refer to this video: