Watchmen has officially been ordered by HBO. The network had already ordered a pilot for the small screen adaptation, which comes from Damon Lindelof, who previously worked with HBO on The Leftovers. Now, we have word that the small screen take on writer Alan Moore's classic DC Comics series will be getting at least one full season on HBO. While no premiere date has been set just yet, it's expected that the show will debut sometime in 2019.
This will not be a straightforward adaptation of the award-winning and heralded comic book series, which was originally published by DC in 1986. Instead, Damon Lindelof has promised that this will be a new story, introducing new characters, while keeping many from the Watchmen universe, set within the alternate reality that was established in the original comic. HBO has released a brief synopsis for the series, which reads as follows.
"Set in an alternate history where 'superheroes' are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own."
The cast for the series includes Jeremy Irons, who expands upon his resume within the DC universe, as he's also played Alfred Pennyworth in both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The ensemble also includes Regina King (The Leftovers), Don Johnson (Miami Vice), Louis Gossett Jr. (Hap and Leonard), Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk), Adelaide Clemens (Rectify), Andrew Howard (Bates Motel), Frances Fisher (Masters of Sex), Jacob Ming-Trent (White Famous), Sara Vickers (The Crown) and Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow). Interestingly, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays Black Manta in Aquaman, is also pulling double duty in the DC universe now as well. It still hasn't been revealed who he's playing in the series.
Watchmen could lend itself quite well to a serialized format on the small screen. But the fact that it sounds like Damon Lindelof is going to be taking some very serious liberties is a risky prospect. He penned a lengthy letter in May detailing his plans, in vague terms at least, and declaring his love for Alan Moore's work. He even wrote Moore a letter out of respect.
"First and foremost, if you are angry that I'm working on Watchmen, I am sorry. I have an immense amount of respect for [Watchmen co-creator] Alan Moore. He is an extraordinary talent of mythic proportion. I wrote him a letter, parts of which are not dissimilar to this one, because I owed him an explanation as to why I'm defying his wishes [in working on the series]."
Zack Snyder's Watchmen movie didn't do particularly well at the box office and received something of a mixed reception. It was, however, almost slavishly faithful to what was put on the page in the comics. We'll see if taking the opposite approach pays off. At the present time, it isn't clear how many episodes the first season will consist of. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.