Jeremy Irons is heading back to the DC universe, but in a very different capacity. Irons recently has been featured as Alfred Pennyworth in both Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Now, HBO has tapped the actor to lead their upcoming Watchmen TV series. The small screen take on Alan Moore's beloved DC Comics miniseries is being adapted by Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers) and is currently filming its pilot, which Irons will anchor.
Character details have not officially been divulged, so it's not yet clear who Jeremy Irons will be playing. Though, it's rumored he will be playing "an aging and imperious lord of a British manor." The 69-year-old actor joins the previously announced ensemble that includes Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens and Andrew Howard. We recently reported on some set photos that showcased Johnson in a police uniform, leaving many to speculate that the famed police strike of 1977, which played a minor part in the Watchmen comic books, will be included in the show.
Beyond that, HBO and Damon Lindelof are keeping a tight lid on their plans. Lindelof did recently pen a lengthy letter to fans stating that this will not be a direct adaptation of the legendary 12-issue Watchmen comic book series, which Zack Snyder previously tackled on the big screen. This is going to be an original story that takes place in the world created by Alan Moore, in which, superheroes are treated as outlaws. It's expected that there will be a heavy focus on new characters, with the show still finding ways to showcase characters from the comics.
HBO has given a pilot order for Watchmen, which is being directed by Nicole Kassell, who previously directed the pilot for The Leftovers, but the network has yet to commit to a series order. While the casting of someone like Jeremy Irons makes it seems very much like they're heading in the direction of a full season pickup, this is not a sure thing just yet. It's possible that they could see the pilot and decided that this isn't worth the large investment it will take to bring the series to life for what would probably be a minimum of eight episodes.
Watchmen debuted from DC Comics in 1986 and, in the years since, it's become not only a cherished work within the medium of comics, but embraced as an important and truly respected literary work in general. A sequel, Doomsday Clock, is currently being published by DC. As for Jeremy Irons, he gives the project a major boost. The actor won an Oscar in 1991 for his work in Reversal of Fortune and has only starred in one other TV series previously, The Borgias. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the Watchmen TV series are made available. This news comes to us courtesy of Deadline.