It’s official!  HBO has ordered a pilot for a series based on the groundbreaking 1986-87 comic book limited series ‘Watchmen’ from writer/creator Damon Lindelof (‘Lost’).  Word first surfaced that HBO was interested in adapting this story in 2015.  Lindelof just announced that he was assembling a writers room for the series and in addition to the pilot, HBO has ordered additional scripts.

Damon Lindelof
Kathy Hutchins /

Lindelof cited the seminal graphic novel as a major influence on his work, including the nonlinear ‘Lost’.  Back in 2009, ahead of the release of the film, he stated:

“From the flashbacks to the nonlinear storytelling to the deeply flawed heroes, these are all elements that I try to put into everything I write.  [The film is] the most married-to-the-original-text version of ‘Watchmen’ that could’ve been made. I want to keep it sort of insular.  It’s OK with me if people don’t understand it because they don’t deserve to understand it.”

At another point, he said:

“I’ve been very vocal about my love for those 12 issues that eventually became a graphic novel, that they were completely and totally inspiring for all the storytelling that I did subsequently, and that I owe a debt to it. So is that piece of material something that’s really interesting to me? Yes, but I do feel like I have to weigh the balance of ‘Should it exist?’ before I decide to take it on, and I’m sort of in that process now. I hold the source material in such high regard it would literally be the worst feeling in the world to screw it up. So I take it very seriously, there’s a lot of responsibility.”

The comic book story was famously adapted into a feature film in 2009, directed by Zack Snyder, starring Malin Ackerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earl Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Patrick Wilson.  Snyder was connected to HBO’s project but has since departed.

Lindelof has had a relationship with HBO for years now, as it was the home of his series ‘The Leftovers’ which just wrapped its third and final season.

It’s unclear how Lindelof and his crew will approach this project.  Unlike other comic book properties, ‘Watchmen‘ is a tale with a very definite beginning, middle and end. It’s also one of the best known stories in comics and one that has already been adapted once.  Obviously, changes will have to be made in order for this to work as an ongoing TV show.  But ‘Watchmen’ is considered one of comics’ sacred cows.  Mucking around with it is likely to alienate existing fans.

How do you feel about this project?  Do you think ‘Watchmen’ could make a great series?  Or is this blasphemy?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter