Progress is continuing on HBO’s Watchmen television adaptation, with Nicole Kassell set to direct the pilot episode. Originally a seminal 1980s graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen was first brought to the realm of live-action by Zack Snyder, who would later take his superhero experience into the DCEU. Snyder’s Watchmen attracted vastly mixed responses. While some loved the movie’s visual style, action and mature tone, others were disappointed that Snyder didn’t always stick completely to the source material, although this was perhaps unsurprising given that the Watchmen comic has often been considered impossible to put on screen.
Interestingly then, another attempt is being made to put Watchmen on screen. This new effort comes courtesy of HBO and will be a television series, rather than a feature length movie. Damon Lindelof, perhaps best known for his work on Lost, has been confirmed as showrunner and it was previously reported that filming would begin this March. Other than that, little else is known about the forthcoming Watchmen series, however Patrick Wilson has expressed an interest in reprising his character of Nite Owl from the 2009 movie and none other than notoriously hard to spot WWE Superstar, John Cena, has hinted at some involvement.
As reported by THR, Watchmen has now found its new director, at least for the pilot episode. Behind the camera will be Nicole Kassell, who will also act as an executive producer on the series. This isn’t the first time that Kassell and Lindelof have teamed up, as the director worked on two episodes of The Leftovers in 2015 and 2017: “No Room At The Inn” and “It’s A Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World.” Kassell has also directed for series such as The Killing, Better Call Saul and The Following.
Kassell’s work on The Leftovers was very well received and therefore a reunion with Damon Lindelof on Watchmen can only be a positive sign for the new adaptation. The director also has a track record of working on critically acclaimed series that have a somewhat challenging or esoteric element. Given its origins, Watchmen is likely to fall into this category and Kassell’s résumé should prove useful as a result.
While the addition of Nicole Kassell is undoubtedly good news for Watchmen fans, the fact remains that the new series will be incredibly difficult to execute successfully and is almost certain to disappoint at least a section of the original graphic novel’s fanbase. In these situations, sticking closely to the source material is often the wisest move but it has already been suggested by HBO that this will not be the case.
Watchmen is currently without a premiere date. More news as we get it.
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