The seminal work of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons – the 12-issue maxiseries Watchmen – seems to have been constantly in development in one way or another since it debuted in 1986. Even with a theatrical release in 2009, it seems there’s still more to the story.
Variety reported Tuesday that yet another Watchmen series is in the works, this time with Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof shepherding the project at HBO.
For decades after the series debuted – for myriad legal and creative reasons – Watchmen was a sacred cow at DC Comics. Consistently one of the company’s top-selling trade collections, Watchmen was generally left alone in its own little corner of the multiverse. While studios heard pitches to adapt the work, nothing ever came of it, until Zack Snyder’s 2009 theatrical adaptation.
The film stayed true to the book, for the most part, with some misses in tonal translation – the scene where Night Owl and Silk Spectre go at it on the couch to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” a notable one. With the release of the 215-minute Ultimate Cut on Blu-Ray, splicing in the animated adventures of the pirates that appeared throughout the comic, I can’t imagine a need to try and adapt the book again. It’s a dark story, certainly a product of the 1980s that many would find difficult to adapt today.
But Watchmen is back in vogue in the comic book world. Now that DC Comics has decided the comic’s characters are no longer in their own little sandbox, I’m sure we’re going to see increased interest in the original publication. We’ve seen glimpses of Dr. Manhattan – and maybe even Ozymandias – since the DC Rebirth initiative started one year ago. And with the announcement of the Doomsday Clock event this November, Watchmen’s characters should be playing an even bigger role with the company’s main comics line for the foreseeable future.
There’s very little information on what, if anything, Lindelof wants to do with Watchmen, now that his HBO series The Leftovers has ended. Not surprisingly, the network didn’t comment, either.
I know that Snyder’s Watchmen gets a lot of hate, but honestly, I enjoyed the flick. I really liked the movie’s Ultimate cut, even though I needed to carve out an entire afternoon and then some to get through the whole thing. I don’t think we NEED another direct adaptation of Watchmen. It’s been done. But…
In 2012, DC Comics published a slate of miniseries labeled BEFORE WATCHMEN, where an all-star crew of writers and artists depicted stories of the characters before the original series took place. A good chunk of those series were actually pretty good. If Lindelof decides to incorporate those into the his new series, it could make a new adaptation worth watching.
Otherwise, they really just shouldn’t bother.