Watchmen isn’t quite like other superhero stories (dare we call it a franchise?). It’s a sacred cow for many fans and even the original comic’s author Alan Moore who thoroughly dislikes people meddling with his creation.
But Zack Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation wasn’t half bad (only a little flawed) and gained a new generation of fans who went back and discovered the comics.
Now, writer Damon Lindelof (Lost, Promethus) is onboard and writing a TV series commissioned by HBO. Here’s the latest news.
When is the Watchmen TV series coming out?
Watchmen is slated for an October 2019 release. In the US it will air on HBO, though we're not sure yet if or where it will be broadcast in the UK. The best bet is Sky Atlantic and Now TV, but in the worst case there are always ways to watch HBO from abroad.
Watch the trailer
The first teaser trailer for the show dropped in May and it's a moody one, with an army of masked Rorschachs, angry police, and plenty of new superheroes:
San Diego Comic-Con brought us a longer trailer with a much better glimpse at the show's story:
Cast and crew
Lindelof posted a lengthy explanation on Instagram when the show was announced in an attempt to calm those he thought would be outraged that the story was being adapted again.
Make of it what you will:
Confirmed cast members include Regina King in the main role (as yet undisclosed, but seemingly a new vigilante), Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson and Frances Fisher.
We still don't know much about who's playing who, but Irons will be playing an older version of Adrian Veidt - aka Ozymandias - the "villain" of the original series.
The same report claims that Jean Smart will be playing an FBI agent tasked with hunting down vigilantes. What's more interesting is the character's name though: Laurie Blake. That might ring a bell, as The Comedian was named Edward Blake, and the younger Silk Spectre was his daughter, named Laurie. Has she taken on her father's name and moved into the legal side of law enforcement?
The series will supposedly be “remixed” from the original with the same events and themes underlying potential new characters and storylines. The show's official Instagram account gave us what looks like a first look at one of those new characters:
What’s the show about?
It’s HBO’s first superhero series ever, but is from a different mould than your regular superhero affair with a very adult theme.
As well as being very violent, the original series tackled a highly political agenda. The superheroes in Watchmen, set in the 1940s to 60s imagines an alternate America in which, for example, Watergate was never uncovered.
Lindelof insists “Watchmen is canon”, suggesting he’ll leave its events be. But his statement also suggests this won’t be a sequel, and some of the characters will be new - though in fact the footage so far suggests that the show is a sort of sequel, set decades after the fact.
But despite Watchmen creator Alan Moore’s distaste for Watchmen’s on-screen presence, original artist Dave Gibbons is more optimistic. In an interview he said he “found Damon’s approach to be really refreshing and exciting and unexpected. I don’t think it’s gonna be what people think it’s going to be. It certainly wasn’t what I imagined it to be. I think it’s extremely fresh. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the screen.”
We’ll update this page when we know more.