With streaming services and network TV already jumping into the superhero realm with a handful of shows from Marvel and DC, it was only a matter of time until the cable networks decided to get a slice of the pie. And it looks like HBO is thinking about bringing to life what was once called an unadaptable graphic novel.
Collider is reporting that the network is talking with Zack Snyder about a possible “Watchmen” series. Of course, Snyder is the man behind the 2009 movie version that split audiences and critics, but the idea of going to the small screen isn’t a new one. Terry Gilliam, who was attached in the early ’90s to helm a version that never got made and who has been critical of Snyder’s film, has said the material probably would’ve been better served episodically.
“[Screenwriter] Charles McKeown and I had written a script, and we were under pressure to keep it close to 2 hours and it just wasn’t working, I wasn’t happy with our script so when it didn’t happen, it didn’t bother me,” the director said at the 2011 Marrakech Film Festival. “With Zack’s film, I thought it took off brilliantly and then it just got… hmmm, because ‘Watchmen’ should be like a TV series where you have plenty of time to develop each of the characters, because if you don’t have time to develop each one, it just becomes a comic book. It’s a character piece is what it is. It looked beautiful, but it ran out of emotional steam for me.”
What Snyder’s proposed TV version will entail isn’t known. All Collider reports is that talks have been happening, but whether Snyder will produce or direct is unclear. Moreover, whether or not HBO actually decides to do this is yet to be determined. However, Snyder has been very passionate about the source material and about his film. “…honestly, I made ‘Watchmen’ for myself. It’s probably my favorite movie that I’ve made. And I love the graphic novel and I really love everything about the movie. I love the style. I just love the movie and it was a labor of love. And I made it because I knew that the studio would have made the movie anyway and they would have made it crazy,” he said last year.
There’s no word yet from Alan Moore, the creator of the 1980s comic series, but I’m sure it will be a caustic response, given that he has heaped derision on every film adaptation of his work. But what do you think? Is “Watchmen” ready for the small screen? Should Snyder be the one to pilot this project or does it need a new voice? Let us know below.
Update 10/2: “Preliminary discussions regarding ‘Watchmen’ have occurred, but we have no additional information and no deals are in place,” HBO said in a statement. Deadline adds those discussions took place “months ago” and there is no “active talks” between the network and Snyder at the moment.