It's no surprise that HBO has officially picked up the live-action adaptation of the popular comic book series Watchmen straight to series, a groundbreaking critique on superheroes and their role in society.
Watchmen is one of the most iconic series in the comic book world, created in 1986 by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins. It was adapted into a feature film in 2009 to little fanfare and lukewarm critical reception, and now HBO hopes the TV could be a more suitable medium for the spellbinding series.
HBO Picks Up 'Watchmen' For A Full Season
HBO says the series will launch sometime in 2019. It did not share a specific release window nor an episode count. HBO shows are typically eight to 10-episode affairs, so Watchmen will likely follow that structure.
The cast includes a stellar lineup of actors: Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Don Johnson, Frances Fisher, and Louis Gossett Jr. Who they're each going to play remains to be announced.
HBO is careful to describe the show as "Damon Lindelof's new series." To many, that name will be familiar. Lindelof created two of the most critically acclaimed shows in the history of television: Lost and, more recently, The Leftovers. Earlier this year, Lindelof published a long essay on how his take on Watchmen will differ greatly from the source material.
"We have no desire to 'adapt' the 12 issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created 30 years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted," wrote Lindelof.
"They will, however, be remixed. Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we'd be fools not to sample them."
The original creator of Watchmen has been adamant that the series was created as a comic for one reason — it was the best medium for it, and adapting it into a film would corrode its purity. In the essay, Lindelof candidly admits he's going against the wishes of the creator, for whom he has an incredible amount of respect and admiration.
He likens the original material to the Old Testament and says his show is, as he calls it, the New Testament. The New Testament didn't violate or avoid the core tenets of the Old one, says Lindelof, which is how the show will be.
Future HBO Programming Lineup
Watchmen's series order comes as HBO aggressively tries to expand its dramatic offerings and genre outings as it looks to a new future with AT&T, a future that doesn't include Game of Thrones, as The Hollywood Reporter notes. It has a few shows lined up to strengthen its programming backbone once Game of Thrones bows out: Demimonde, being developed by J.J. Abrams; Lovecraft Country, being developed by Jordan Peele and Misha Green; and The Nevers, a new project by Joss Whedon.