HBO News Blog

Are the WATCHMEN Coming To HBO?

By Jef Dinsmore on Oct 16, 2015 to HBO News


This writer is of the opinion that the whole Superhero genre has reached its saturation point, but then again I’m not a ‘geek.’ I was quite content with HBO setting itself above the rest and not going that route. Now, however, it appears the pay cabler is considering the realm of spandex clad do-gooders with an array of super abilities saving the world from evil.

HBO is in preliminary talks with Zack Snyder, who directed the 2009 movie Watchmen, to explore whether the concept is doable for the network. In a brief statement HBO stated – “Preliminary discussions regarding Watchmen have occurred but we have no additional information and no deals are in place.”

I’m sure there are plenty out there who know who this band of heroes is and what they stand for. This writer was clueless and so I offer a quick rundown of the characters pictured above for the uninformed. The work was a limited run comic book that takes place in an alternate reality that mirrors the world of the 1980’s. An escalated Cold War eventually puts superheroes on the outs and they are outlawed. A rouge team still exists though called Watchmen. They are – Silk Spectre, the lady of the bunch; Dr. Manhattan, the big bald blue guy; the hooded one in goggles is Nite Owl; the cigar chomping one is The Comedian; the blond Adonis is named Ozymandias and the masked one is Rorschach. They were played in the movie, respectively, by Malin Ackerman, Billy Crudup Patrick Wilson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode and Jack Earle Haley.

The original DC Comic, which is owned by the same parent company (Warner Bros.) that owns HBO was created and penned by Alan Moore with David Gibbons as artist. Zack Snyder, who would be manning the duties of development followed the basic outline of the original concept for his film and has done plenty of superheroes since including upcoming blockbusters about Wonder Woman, The Flash and Aquaman.

Don’t worry fans if the WATCHMEN project takes off on HBO this writer will watch the movie and get more familiar with the characters or fellow writers already in the know will get more in depth for us.  But first, let’s see if it gets anywhere. Are you excited and hopeful for the WATCMEN? Will they be a good fit for HBO?  

(Source: Variety


  • I adore Watchmen, both the graphic novel and the film, so seeing it come to life again sounds heavenly. HBO going the superhero route seems very strange to me as no other major network has produced a TV-MA superhero series, so they’re likely to do something similar to Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones). I can’t say I’m not jaded–as it is we have five more major comic book films coming up this year. Superheroes aren’t memorable anymore and the series will need a certain a uniqueness to succeed. I do believe it can be done with Watchmen but with creative (and loyal) writing and directing.

  • Sav

    Hey Jef. What makes Watchmen unique is that none of the “superheroes” actually have any special abilities. They are actually just masked vigilantes. The only exception is Dr Manhattan, who seems to be an anomaly.
    Watchmen is less “Superhero” genre, and more Noir/Detective story with a Political and Philosophical Voice (Morality). It also uses the Dr Manhattan character to reflect on the Absurd/Causality vs Intelligent Design.
    Have a read: there’s a reason this ‘comic’ is in Time magazines top 100 Books of all Time. It ain’t no Hero vs Villain drab.

    • Jef Dinsmore

      Sav, your comment makes it all that more interesting. Thanks for that.

  • loco73

    Personally I would love to see this project take off at HBO. The network had a chance at a similarly interesting and intriguing project in the form of “Preacher”, graphic novels of outstanding, demented, crazy and just plain mind-blowing quality. HBO entered pre-production but ultimately decided to pass on this opportunity and now the project finds itself in the nauseating hands of Seth Rogen and his nitwit sideckick Evan Goldberg over on AMC (hey HBO…remember what you did with “Mad Men”?)…
    Back in the 90’s HBO did dabble in the superhero genre a bit. Mind you, not the typical, spandex clad, spayed and neutered bore. But “Spawn”, who at the hands of Todd McFarlane, was one of the most unique and interesting comic book or graphic novel characters around. “Spawn” was the quintessential anti-hero, flying in the face of do-gooders like Captain America, Superman or Spiderman.
    “Spawn” was a short-lived but wonderful, adult-oriented anime series. It was animation at the next level, beautiful, bold, profane, violent and sexy…more like an art project than a network programme. Definitely more in the vain of what “Watchmen” is.
    I hope this comes to fruition. Yes the super hero movies are way beyond saturation point, they are at desperation point…but not so necessarily for TV series. Over on ABC, while not ground breaking, “Agents Of SHIELD” has become helluva fun weekly watching and over on Netflix, through the wonder of the Netflix-Marvel collaboration we were gifted with “Daredevil” earlier this year, one of the best comic book adaptations I’ve ever come across and one of the best new series period! Next is “Jessica Jones”, which looks to continue the trend!
    So word to the wise. Don’t scoff at this potential series. It is a worthy project to undertake. If not as a multi-season series, maybe as a limited series or better yet mini-series.
    Not so long ago people rolled their eyes at something called the “A Song Of Ice And Fire” fantasy novels and their adaptation as a TV show…and now we have “Game Of Thrones”…enough said!
    PS HBO would also do well to get their ass in gear and develop Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” novels as a TV series with Jonathan Nolan already attached as project lead.

  • Alexandra Mitchell

    I am deeply torn. Watchmen is by far my favorite graphic novel, but I am worried about it fitting in at HBO. I don’t worry about the quality of work, as HBO has always assured me of their standards. But will it remain gritty and not sink to the flashy ways of other superhero shows just because of content? Herm…

    • Jef Dinsmore

      As stated I am not familiar with this material at all, but if it is dark and gritty and the big blue guy is usually nude than HBO has got this one made.

      I’m just sorry to see HBO feels the need to get into the over-saturated superhero genre at all.

    • With HBO I think we’re definitely getting gritty, it’ll need to stand out among cable tv comic book shows. They’ll do that with a hard R/TV-MA. I like The Flash, never got around to Arrow, and like what I’ve seen of Agents of SHIELD but never got around to binging it all. Those are all witty and comical but Watchmen is more to the standard of what Netflix has done with Jessica Jones and Daredevil, both which I adored. Dark and sharp and relentless. Watchmen is one of my favorite graphic novels as well (and unlike most fans of the novel I truly adored the film) so I would love to see Watchmen come to life again. Can you imagine the original cast? Of course, highly doubtful, but I would die for more Patrick Wilson on my television. (I just finished season 2 of FARGO and he is the absolute best in it.) This could turn out to be a disaster, but I’d still stick through it the whole way.

      • Alexandra Mitchell

        Since posting this, I completed Daredevil and Jessica Jones and I completely agree with you. I didn’t finish Fargo, but I would love more Patrick Wilson. And Jeffrey Dean Morgan is about to be on Walking Dead but I adored him as the Comedian. I think I need to watch Watchmen asap!

  • Microaggressive

    “this writer”

    ok button pusher

    • Jef Dinsmore

      I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean.

  • I hate superheroes – childish, moronic fantasies. Disappointing HBO would consider doing anything like that. But then again, falling lower than doing a Lindelof TV show is impossible…

    • Jojocotto

      You should read Alan Moore’s work

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