In 1986 DC Comics published a limited-series story written by Alan Moore with art by Dave Gibbons. This comic book “Watchmen” became famous for its tough deconstruction of the concept of a world and society where superheroes exist. Some comic book readers would go so far as to hold “Watchmen” responsible for planting the seeds of the grim and edgy Dark Age of Comic Books, and popularizing the idea of very flawed, anti-heroic saviors.

The story was adapted for the big screen in 2009 by Zack Snyder, who would later work on the DC Extended Universe films for Warner Brothers. But “Watchmen” may be up for a new adaptation on HBO, and it might be a series in the vein of the soon-to-end “Game of Thrones.”

Exploratory talks

Major cable network HBO has been quite happy with the work of show-runner Damon Lindelof in developing “The Leftovers” which ended on June 4.

In order to keep him on, the network has entered into discussions for him to undertake a TV series adaptation of the “Watchmen” comic books. Deadline did stress that the project is still very much in the "deal-making phase." Lindelof’s show credentials include the award-winning mystery drama “Lost” but even he looks to be in for a challenging task of adapting Alan Moore’s seminal work.

It should be noted that this is not the first time HBO took steps to develop a “Watchmen” TV series. Their first attempt was in 2014. The network even went so far as to approach Zack Snyder himself for discussions to adapt elements from his film version, which was produced by Warner Brothers and had mixed reviews in the box office. These negotiations were kept quiet and eventually fell through.

To that end, HBO intends to have Lindelof’s take on “Watchmen” from the ground up without Snyder’s input. That is just as well considering that the director has taken time off from work on the DCEU film “Justice League” for personal reasons.

Cerebral superhero story

Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” takes place an alternate timeline where superheroes began appearing since World War II.

Their presence and influence on society causes changes from real history, leading to a world on the brink of nuclear war with superheroes outlawed, retired or working as government agents. A conspiracy involving the murder of superheroes pushes the former members of the Minutemen superhero team to reunite in order to find answers, but not all of them turn out to be trustworthy.

The Zack Snyder-directed 2009 film starred Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, and Jackie Earle Haley. No more details have been revealed about the TV series adaptation, and HBO themselves have declined to comment on the news. Still, the network and Damon Lindelof together come across as a good combination for any possible “Watchmen” TV adaptation.

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