With HBO officially developing a Watchmen TV series, the artist of the original graphic novel has high hopes that showrunner Damon Lindelof can top Zack Snyder’s cinematic version of his work.
Adapting the work of Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore for live-action once again, The Leftovers and Lost co-creator will bring the lives of The Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, and Nite Owl back with a splash of color. Based on the graphic novel series of the same name, HBO’s Watchmen will turn all twelve issues of 1986’s acclaimed work into a miniseries. Although Snyder was once attached to the small screen Watchmen project, he dropped out and was replaced by Lindelof – but the big question is, have we learned from the movie’s mistakes?
It isn’t just fans of comic books that are looking to the future of the franchise. Speaking to Screen Rant at San Diego Comic-Con, Dave Gibbons told us how the new era of his and Moore’s work could outshine its predecessor:
“Yeah. I mean, I think whenever Alan and I in the past had talked about movies and TV, in a way the TV form with an episodic story, which Watchmen very much was. It was a graphic novel. It was a monthly story. I think that works very well.”
He went on to say that even the graphic novel was originally supposed to be much shorter, before Moore grew into the epic saga that we have come to love. With this in mind, Watchmen sounds perfect as a miniseries for a channel like HBO:
“I’ll tell you something interesting and even Zack Snyder didn’t notice until right at the end of us doing publicity and everything for it, when we were first commissioned to do the comic book series, we thought, Alan thought that it was going to be a six issue series and then they said to him, “No. It’s got to be 12 issues.” And he was like, “Oh, shit.” So he had to come up with another six issues worth of material, which is why it’s got the shape that it has which, if you look at it, it’s got an issue of action, an issue of character, an issue of action, and that is really what gives it its character. That its done like that and that we did have space to stretch and obviously something like a TV species would give you space to expand and explore that you haven’t got with a movie, so we always thought it would work better as a TV series than a movie.”
We then quizzed the artist on what he knew about the new series and whether he could be involved in some way:
“Only what I’ve read on the internet and I don’t know anything about it. There is always things about Watchmen and because of its history, the slightest movement or the slightest comment, but I know as much as the next person.”
Screen Rant: So you don’t have any involvement with it?
“Well, the thing with Watchmen is that DC has been very courteous to me and are always giving me the opportunity to be involved. There are certain things that I am happy to be involved with and certain things that I haven’t been happy to be involved with and I haven’t had any particular involvement with it. As far as the movie was concerned, I was happy to have as much input as they would give me. Although by the time of the movie, Alan Moore had long since left the building and I suspect if there is any further dramatizations, I am sure it will be something I will be consulted about and if it was done in the same way as the movie, I would be quite on board. I mean, you have to talk hypotheticals at the moment.”
Watchmen was previously brought to our screens in Snyder’s blockbuster from 2009. Criticized for sticking too close to the novel and a lack of backstory for the characters, it seems that cramming all twelve issues into a two-hour feature just doesn’t do the source material justice. Given that the graphic novel is lauded as one of the best in its genre, you can’t blame us for having high hopes for the TV adaptation. Spread out over a series of weeks, and with HBO’s notoriously high production values, Watchmen could be one of the big televisual events of the 21st Century.
Joining Sin City, Watchmen became the second big announcement this year for graphic novels that are set to grace the small screen, but which will win the big ratings race? With no news on casting or even a release date for Watchmen, we do know that Lindelof’s vision is due to hit HBO some time in the near future, and could easily fill that upcoming Game of Thrones–shaped hole in the channel.
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