Who Watches the Watchmen? HBO Bring the Seminal Neo-Noir Superhero Epic to TV

Image copyright DC 1987

Who watches the Watchmen?

That’s what Alan Moore’s seminal 1986 comic book miniseries epic asked us, but we all might if HBO has anything to say about it.

The live-action adaptation is reportedly in early development, and whether you dislike him or absolutely despise him, Damon Lindelof of Lost and the Leftovers fame is in talks to steer the production.

There were some talks that a series was in the pipelines back in 2015 with Zack Snyder on board.

However, The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the director is no longer connected with the project despite being behind the 2009 Watchmen movie.

The comic book, which was released as a limited series initially (until recently when DC put the team in a comic book crossover event with some of their more familiar superheroes) depicts an alternate history in which costumed heroes first emerged in the 1940s, and had a hand in altering the course of history over the subsequent decades.

The comic series, set in 1985 at the cusp of the brewing Cold War between America and Russia, centres around the investigation into the murder of the former costumed government agent The Comedian, which leads to a deadly conspiracy with global consequences.

Ironically, Watchmen was long dismissed as being “unfilmable”, but that didn’t stop Warner Bros. and the aforementioned Zack Snyder from attempting it, and the resulting movie pulled in $185.3 million, which isn’t bad.

DC had returned to the world of Watchmen in 2012 with their Before Watchmen series, a sprawling prequel encompassing eight limited series and a one-shot, totalling 37 issues, with creators such as Darwyn Cooke, Amanda Conner, Brian Azzarello, Adam Hughes and more besides involved.

And just last year, as part of their massive multi-issue story arc event, Rebirth, DC weaved elements of Watchmen into several key issues in their DC Universe, leading to a mystery that’s lead some of DC’s finest and brightest to try and solve the riddle of the Smiley Button.

As of yet, there are no confirmed casting announcements, release date plans, or anything of any tangible significance to talk about, but the very fact that HBO ha got their hands on it means at least one thing; it’s sure to have a big budget behind it.

-James, 26/06/17

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