Watchmen

Who watches the watchmen? Looks like the answer might be Damon Lindelof. The co-creator of shows like Lost and The Leftovers is reportedly staying in the HBO fold and is currently in talks to develop a TV adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking superhero comic book series for the premium cable channel.

Variety brings the news, saying that Lindelof’s attempt to bring the 1985 comic to the small screen will be a totally fresh start that has nothing to do with the time HBO tried to breathe life into a TV show version of the story back in 2015.

Watchmen, of course, is a comic based on original characters inspired by old Charlton Comics characters, and takes place in an alternate history in which costumed superheroes align themselves with the government and the appearance of an all-powerful god-like figure named Dr. Manhattan allowed the U.S. to win the Vietnam War. It’s a dark, seedy story that plays out like a murder mystery; when one of the heroes is found dead, many of the older heroes come out of retirement to attempt to discover what happened to him.

The comic was already adapted into a polarizing movie by director Zack Snyder back in 2009, when the superhero movie craze was just hitting its stride. That film, which is extremely faithful to the comic book source material (some might argue a little too faithful) earned a mixed reception from fans and critics, but considering the seemingly never-ending supply of superhero cinema that’s come after it, I’d argue that the film may have been slightly ahead of its time. The reason Moore and Gibbons’ comic works so well is that it deconstructs years of superhero mythology and imagery that had been established through decades of comics. There were a decent amount of superhero movies by the time 2009 rolled around, but for Watchmen film audiences to truly experience a similar impact to what Watchmen comic readers must have felt, it may have been better for the movie to come out a little bit later.

Lindelof, who’s looking for a new project in the wake of The Leftovers‘ well-received series finale, seems like an inspired choice to revive Watchmen. He’s clearly a guy who appreciates deep mythology in his shows, and crucially, he’s also not gun shy when it comes to the darkness and sadness that practically drips off of the comics’ pages. Do you think he’s a good fit to bring this story to life?

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