Now it’s too early to start any celebrating, because nothing is set in stone (or even really set at all), but reports have it that filmmaker/director Zack Snyder has been in talks with HBO concerning the possibility of a Watchmen TV series. HBO confirmed such to Deadline, stating that “preliminary discussions regarding Watchmen have occurred,” but made sure to stress that there are no deals in place.
Alan Moore’s 1980’s publication of Watchmen has been hailed as one of the most influential comic book series of all time, as well as one of the most highly acclaimed. After multiple failed attempts at getting a movie adaptation started, Snyder finally succeeded in getting his version onto the big screen in 2009.
The filmed received mixed reactions from fans- some complaining that it didn’t deviate far enough from the books, and others complaining that it deviated too far. Commercially it flopped, earning $185 million worldwide on a $130 million budget. Snyder’s name was put on the map, though, for his dark, sleek style, and for filming a storyline that had been deemed “unfilmable”.
As to what kind of series HBO and Snyder could have in mind for Watchmen, that’s anyone’s guess. The reception of the film version would suggest staying away from another direct adaptation of the comic books, but a spinoff, prequel, or sequel are all equally viable options. If they went the way of a prequel, they could draw from Before Watchmen, a comic book prequel series published by DC Comics in 2012. Featuring eight limited series, each one focused on one specific character, plus a one shot, clocking in at 37 issues.
Adding more unknown to the unknown, Snyder’s role in this possible endeavor could be very varied in levels of involvement. Adapting, writing, directing, some of each, or none at all, nobody knows as of yet. It’s also unknown, but unlikely, that the series would cross over with any other DC universe- big screen or small.
Given the rise in popularity of superhero shows, and the fact that HBO and DC Comics are both owned by Time Warner, it seems worth a shot to try Watchmen out on the small screen. It may translate a lot better this way than it did as a film, possibly enough to eventually replace Game of Thrones!