DC Comics' Watchmen is in development again at HBO as a TV series, according to multiple reports. Damon Lindelof – co-creator and showrunner on Lost – is said to be in talks with the network, fresh off the completion of his critically-acclaimed drama The Leftovers.
According to unnamed sources who spoke with Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the project is in the early stages of development, with no official deal in place as yet. Hence, both HBO and Warner Bros. Television – which holds the rights to Watchmen – have declined to comment.
If true, this is HBO's second attempt at getting the iconic limited comic book series to its platform, after an initial attempt back in 2014. Zack Snyder, who directed the Watchmen feature film in 2009, was attached to the TV project, but isn't a part of the new discussion. That seems obvious, given Snyder temporarily stepped away from film-making last month to focus on his family after his daughter's suicide.
Lindelof will be starting from scratch on the revived series development, according to Variety. Though The Leftovers failed to ever get a sizeable audience on HBO, it was a hit with critics, particularly towards its end. That seems to have been enough for HBO to place its trust with Lindelof.
For those unaware, Watchmen – created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colourist John Higgins – ran for 12 issues between 1986-87. It depicted an alternate sci-fi history where the emergence of superheroes in the 1940s helped US later win the Vietnam War, and followed a bunch of former heroes come out of retirement to investigate the murder of one of their own.
Lindelof has co-written a number of sci-fi films previously, including Star Trek into Darkness, Prometheus, Cowboys & Aliens, and Tomorrowland. For HBO, a Watchmen series – which would take at least a few years of development – would help fill the gap that Game of Thrones is soon going to create.