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Alan Moore's Watchmen pretty much represents the gold standard for comic book storytelling. His alternative vision of 1985 has become widely regarded as one of the best graphic novels ever crafted, and it has established itself as one of the most influential pieces of work within the comic book genre. Now it seems that HBO will soon bring Watchmen to the small screen, with recent rumors suggesting Lost's Damon Lindelof will spearhead the project. What does Lindelof think of these stories? He's interested in the possibility, but he's not nearly as attached to Watchmen as we thought. Lindelof explained:
All I can say at this time is, as of now, I haven't had any meetings with HBO about Watchmen. I've been very vocal about my love for those twelve issues, that eventually became a graphic novel. They were completely and totally inspiring for all the storytelling that I did subsequently, and that I owe a debt to it. And so is that a 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. All I can say is that I'm thinking about Watchmen a lot right now. Nothing official.
It looks like Damon Lindelof was just as surprised as we were to learn about his potential involvement in the Watchmen TV series. He very clearly loves the source material, and he has a passion for this project, but it also appears that he hasn't even officially sat down with HBO to hash out whether or not he will involve himself in its development. The idea of taking part in that adaptation seems to interest him, but he also understands that the job comes with an immense amount of risk.
Those fears about possibly screwing up something like a Watchmen TV series (per Damon Lindelof's comments to TVLine) become even more pressing when we consider the sheer density of the source material. The Watchmen universe has often been regarded as "unfilmable" by many vocal critics, and even someone as detail-oriented as Zack Snyder was only able to properly get every plot thread nailed down in the obscenely long director's cut of the (incredibly divisive) 2009 film based on the property.
Of course, if anyone from the realm of television has the chops to get this universe right, then it has to be Damon Lindelof. Not only did Lost prove that he has a knack for world-building, but his more recent efforts on The Leftovers have established that he can craft a bizarre Watchmen-esque narrative that feels right at home on HBO. He is a master of dark, nonlinear storytelling, so his versions of classic characters like Doctor Manhattan, The Comedian, and (perhaps most importantly) Rorschach could potentially blow us away.
CinemaBlend will bring you more information related to the Watchmen HBO series as new details related to the project become available to us. For now, check out our summer TV premiere guide for more up to date info on the rest of this season's small screen debuts.