Collider reported earlier this week that some early meetings have occurred at HBO about the prospect of creating a television series on the premium cable channel based on “Watchmen“. Previously adapted in 2009 by current WB superhero guru Zack Snyder, the property has remained a popular one ever since its creation in the late ’80s by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins. Snyder is reportedly involved in the current discussions, having been a part of the meetings with HBO, but it is not yet clear how involved he will be if it goes forward. Furthermore, there is no word at this time as to whether or not it will be a new adaptation of the material, a prequel or sequel to the existing film, or an adaptation of existing spin-off comics to the property.
While Snyder’s film disappointed at the box office, scoring only $185 million off a budget of $130 million, it did manage to pull its weight on home video, granting it a few return trips to the well on blu-ray. Warner Bros. and DC Comics have managed to keep the property alive ever since, from continued merchandise to a 37-issues prequel comic series, “Before Watchman“, in 2012. It seems likely that, barring a re-adaptation, this proposed show would be some sort of adaptation of that prequel run, but it’s just too early to tell at this stage.
Furthermore, while HBO does seem to be toying more with genre shows at the moment (i.e. “Westworld” next year), they also have a habit of pushing projects through fairly far before ultimately pulling the plug. This happened to not one, but two different television series that acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher was producing for the channel recently. One of them, “Utopia” even managed to go into production and film a few episodes before it was terminated. Basically, even if this does get the greenlight to go to pilot or even series, there’s no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day.
While this is more high profile than superhero pilots of old, our television past is littered with failed TV pilots that either aired as TV movies or never even saw the light of day. From Doctor Strange (1978) to Power Pack (1991) to Darkman (1992) to Generation X (1996) to Justice League of America (1997) to Amazon (2012), there are plenty of them out there. Will Watchmen set along side them one day or will it go the distance and become as debated as the 2009 film still is? Or will it never even come to pass? Only time will tell.
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