Damon Lindelof is playing coy about his potential involvement with HBO’s upcoming Watchmen series. The Lost and The Leftovers writer/producer has been widely reported to be developing an adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel for the cable channel, but has suggested nothing is official yet.
A longtime TV veteran, Lindelof broke through in 2004 as the co-showrunner — along with Carlton Cuse — of ABC’s mystery epic Lost. Lost revolutionized network television storytelling, embracing new narrative tools that involved flashbacks, time travel, and some truly innovative science fiction tricks. Lindelof followed up Lost with work on blockbusters like Star Trek Into Darkness and Prometheus before returning to television with HBO’s critically adored supernatural drama The Leftovers.
But Lindelof is pumping the breaks on the assumption he’s definitely diving into Watchmen next. In an interview with TVLine, Lindelof clarifies the project’s current status.
“As of right now, I haven’t had any meetings with HBO about Watchmen.”
While Lindelof is attempting to tamp down his supposed involvement, he acknowledges he’s been approached in some capacity to consider developing the series, and is mulling it over, as he’s long loved Alan Moore’s classic superhero deconstruction.
“I’ve been very vocal about my love for those twelve issues…that they were completely and totally inspiring for all the storytelling that I did subsequently, and that I owe a debt to it. I do feel like I have to weigh the balance of ‘should it exist’ before I decide to take it on, and I’m sort of in that process now. I hold the source material in such high regard, it would literally be the worst feeling in the world to screw it up…all I can say is I’m thinking about Watchmen a lot right now.”
Lindelof’s apprehension about adapting Watchmen is probably smart. For one thing, it was already recently adapted with Zack Snyder’s 2009 film, which was a largely faithful representation of the graphic novel that was met with a fairly muted response. Lindelof is also no stranger to franchise backlashes. Lost’s series finale was famously polarizing, and his work on both Prometheus and Star Trek Into Darkness was met with scorn from the vocal corners of those franchise’s fan bases.
All that said, Watchmen and Lindelof seems like a match made in heaven. While Lost shares more than a little DNA with Watchmen, it’s really The Leftovers that should serve as proof of Lindelof’s storytelling prowess. The weird, somber, darkly hilarious series about dealing with grief in the face of unexplained tragedy is one of the most striking shows of the 21st century, and proved that Lindelof has all the creative tools necessary to adapt Watchmen, a story many believe is unadaptable. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Lindelof.
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