Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen graphic novel made history as an intricate, sprawling story which was near impossible to adapt for the screen. When Zack Snyder tried in 2009, it was met with a mixed reception at best, and now HBO is trying again with a new TV series.
Filming has been underway on the series, ready for a 2019 premiere, and with The Leftovers director Damon Lindelof at the helm and an A-list cast, including Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, and Louis Gossett Jr., the network is certainly putting a lot of faith in this project.
And it seems that Gibbons has face in the series too, as after a panel at NYCC to promote the latest iteration of Watchmen, the artist told Deadline that he’s enthused about the new project, because it isn’t a straightforward adaptation, but a story which finds its own way in the wider universe of the source material.
“The original is something that we always saw as standing alone and it never in our mind required prequels or sequels or homages or pastiches or anything like that,” Gibbons said. “It isn’t that we thought it should be treated with great reverence, it’s just that we thought: If you’ve done something right just leave it alone.”
He continued by explaining how this journey into the dark universe of Watchmen is the ideal subject for HBO, which has seen massive success with such sprawling stories as Game of Thrones, which others may have considered unimaginable:
“It does pursue the idea of an alternative reality. And that’s essentially what Watchmen was [in its original comics form], an alternate-reality story. I think what’s happening with the TV version is it presents yet another variation. And while I’ve only read the screenplay — and I can’t speak to the tone or the way the things been shot — I’d say the reality it inhabits is one that feels quite authentic. It’s not here, it’s not now, it’s something slightly sideways.”
Hopefully, this means that HBO’s Watchmen will see the success that unfortunately Snyder’s film did not.
More on Watchmen when we have it.