What Will Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen Series Be About? – Comicbook.com

 In Entertainment
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HBO is still developing a Watchmen series, even as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder walks away from the project and is replaced by Lost and The Leftovers mastermind Damon Lindelof.

The Watchmen movie, directed by Snyder in 2009, was a controversial movie in a few ways. One of the things that Snyder was accused of, was being too reverential to the source material and not making appropriate changes to suit the medium of film and the restrictions of a 3-hour movie.

Of course, there were other fans who were irate that he changed too much, particularly in the third act, because as one of the great pieces of the comics literary canon, Watchmen was ostensibly beyond such things in their eyes.

So what will a Watchmen TV series look like? Will it be more or less true to the comic book miniseries? Will they focus just on the death of the Comedian and its immediate fallout, or take a broader, more historical view of the characters in context?

Obviously we won’t know for a while, but there are some obvious places that Lindelof can turn for inspiration, in case HBO expects the series to be a huge hit and wants more than the equivalent of a year-long comic book miniseries to run their show.

There are also some pretty big questions that fans will likely be asking about how the supplemental material that appeared in the original Watchmen might play in…!

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BEFORE WATCHMEN

DC’s much-debated prequel takes the events referenced in Watchmen and built a story around them.

That’s a little different from what it already had, which was kind of a loose mythology that centered on a very small number of events known to have happened.

In Watchmen, there were a number of events alluded to but not specifically depicted, and a handful that were depicted, often lacking context. That was fine, as the flashbacks in the original Watchmen were largely meant to inform the current-day narrative, so all audiences really needed to understand was how the events of the flashbacks were impacting the events of the present day.

Before Watchmen, then, felt somewhat excessive to a lot of people because it was essentially telling superhero stories: ongoing, open-ended superhero stories like the ones you might see in most mainstream Marvel and DC comics, but doing it tethered to the story of Watchmen and with the kind of knowing winks that Gotham employed in its first season: “Yeah, you know this is important because you know where this character goes in ten years.”

As a stand-alone story, that was largely unfulfilling…and the fact that comic book fans were predisposed to be pretty critical of the stunt didn’t help. As a TV series, one can see how they might weave content from the Before Watchmen stories into the larger narrative, helping to use it to inform the characters’ growth. Certainly breaking away from the main action for an episode or two in order to fill in gaps is something that’s been successfully employed on The Walking Dead.

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(Photo: DC Entertainment)

 

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OZYMANDIAS

At one point, there were rumors that a planned Watchmen series would center on the character of Ozymandias, the self-proclaimed “smartest man in the world” and essentially the central antagonist of Watchmen.

That seems on its face like kind of an obvious idea — it’s sometimes difficult to understand what’s motivating him, and he is the player that kicks everything into action, so on some level questions about his motives are questions about the larger plot of Watchmen.

The downside to this approach is that Ozymandias is, ultimately, the bad guy — and he’s a mass murderer. Yes, he’s got shades of gray but he’s still objectively a terrible person and someone who history will likely view poorly…if anybody sees or believes the contents of Rorschach’s journal.

Obviously, the upcoming Doomsday Clock event could paint Adrian Veidt in a different light — and as The Walking Dead‘s series of prose novels centered on the character of The Governor have proven, there’s a certain poetic quality to watching the downfall of a seemingly good man. Still, it’s difficult to imagine a serialized story where you know that in the end, your hero will make terrible decisions that cost millions of lives.

Seeing his fall could be poignant, then, but having him as the point of view character? Probably unwise…!

adrian-veidt-and-kitten-bubastis
(Photo: DC Entertainment)

 

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MAYFAIR GAMES

Years before the Before Watchmen controversy, there was a Moore-approved Watchmen prequel…of sorts.

When Mayfair Games was putting together a popular DC roleplaying game in the ’80s, there was some official material created by the company in cooperation with Moore.

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