HBO’s “prize cow,” the fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” is winding down to one final season that would air really late in 2018 or into 2019. After that, the cable network will have to push a new property as the face of its primetime lineup. “Westworld” is still going strong, with a season 2 for 2018. The “Thrones” show-runners are also developing a new alternate-universe series, the controversial “Confederate.” But last June there was also talk that Home Box Office may be planning a TV adaptation of the seminally deconstructive superhero graphic novel “Watchmen,” which already had a movie version in 2009. Following several weeks without further word, the series appears to have entered pre-production.

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Lindelof is in

The rumors from June about a “Watchmen” TV series on HBO had it that Damon Lindelof, creator of “The Leftovers” for HBO which ended in that same month, was being considered for show-running duties. He never said anything substantial to either confirm or deny it. This week, however, Lindelof posted a photo on Instagram showing the HBO writers’ room, with a replica of a trophy featured in the “Watchmen” storyline and accompanied by a caption stating that it was “Day One.”

Any avid fan of the comic would recognize the partly obscured trophy as a statuette of the “Watchmen” character Nite Owl, or the original bearer of the costumed identity.

Given to the hero by his home city as a token of appreciation, it would later be used as a weapon to murder him in his civilian identity of Hollis Mason. This social media post was quite the turnaround for Lindelof, who said in a July interview that if he did commit to HBO’s project, he was concerned that he might not do it justice. The Nite Owl statuette may hint that he has lost some of his doubts about overseeing the series.

Writing pedigree

Created by legendary comic-book writer Alan Moore in 1986 for DC Comics, “Watchmen” chronicled the greater cultural and political ramifications of a world where superheroes exist and are considered as one of the trend-setters for the deconstruction of superhero narrative conventions that is prevalent today.

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It was turned into a film by Zack Snyder that had mixed reviews and a lukewarm reception. HBO even talked to him in 2015 about their first attempt to adapt "Watchmen" for TV, using the movie as an inspiration.

All of this is now in the hands of Damon Lindelof, to make a completely standalone TV-series remake of the “Watchmen” story. With his experience working on the “Lost” series and the “Prometheus” film, he certainly has the creative muscle to make this adaptation work. As it is still in pre-production, HBO has yet to give the series a premiere date.