Although it's yet to be formally announced, Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) has given the clearest hint yet that pre-production is actually starting on an HBO version of Watchmen. Using his Instagram account, he's teased a single image that is instantly recognizable to fans of the original comics run, and unless it's a cruel trick the proverbial ball has started rolling on a new series.
One of the most influential comic titles ever, Watchmen can take credit for its part in changing attitude to graphic novels and comics as a whole. Written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons in 1986, it incisively provided social commentary on the nature of superheroes themselves, while providing a gripping story. After several failed attempts, Zack Snyder directed the movie version in 2009, which did get a mixed reception but had stunning opening credits and was fairly faithful to the comics in looks and content. However earlier this year it was reported that Lindelof was in talks with HBO to develop a new interpretation of the dysfunctional heroes as a mini-series.
Nothing more has been released since then regarding the project, with Lindelof even going as far as downplaying his involvement with it. But that all changed today, when he posted this image on his Instagram account:
The photo is obviously referring to the statue of the first Nite Owl, which featured heavily on the cover of issue #8 of the first run of Watchmen. It also played a major part in the storyline itself when it was used as a murder weapon. Nite Owl operated as part of the "Minutemen" in the 1930s, and had the identity of policeman Hollis Mason in his civilian life. In later years he inspired Daniel Dreiberg to take up the cowl and become the second person to adopt that superhero mantle in an attempt to honor his crime fighting achievements. The statue itself - which is somewhat more polished in the comics version - was given to Mason in recognition of his time in costume. Cleverly it can also be read as "Ingratitude," which reflects society's attitude towards the later generation of superheroes. It's been suggested that this may be the same prop as used in Snyder's original movie version, but there's no way to confirm that.
Either this is a very clear indication that the production of HBO's Watchmen is underway, or Lindelof is just needlessly trolling the fans. There really doesn't seem to be any other reason for posting it, so it seems safe to assume that the series is underway and we can probably expect an announcement shortly. With regard to the project itself, most people think that Lindelof is a good choice for showrunner, with even the original artist Gibbons giving a TV version the vote of confidence.
The resources of HBO is likely to be a good fit as well, although indications suggest that the series may well stray from the original source material. But that certainly worked for Westworld. So we remain optimistic about this new version of Watchmen and hopefully look forward to seeing more information shortly.
Source: Damon Lindelof