Watchmen Gets a New Story
It’s no secret that Watchmen is arguably the best graphic novel ever written. With its rich themes of politics, history, and the alternate concept of WWIII looming in the 1980’s told from the perspectives of the worlds politicians, citizens, and a team of superheroes spread across generations, its easy to see why. Alan Moore, Dave Gibbins, and John Higgins painted a beautiful picture with this particular story in 1985 and in spectacular fashion. From a writing standpoint, it’s brilliant. It’s illustrations iconic. It’s impact on our culture is still being felt to this day. It’s celebrated as one of the top 100 greatest novels of all time and it’s even taught in colleges around the world. Then in 2009, we got Zack Snyder’s adaptation of the beloved source material which if you ask me, this is his best work. If you get a chance to watch the director’s cut, it’s even better. His visual style of filmmaking was exactly how this story needed to be captured. It’s definitely up there in the top 30 comic book movies of all time. Even Jeffrey Dean Morgan who portrayed The Comedian is quoted saying
It was a film ahead of its time.
Looking back on that quote, I can see why it was ahead of its time. Comic book films didn’t exactly come into the fold until Bryan Singer’s X-Men and Sam Rami’s Spider-Man in the early 2000’s. Before that, they weren’t ever taken seriously. Marvel didn’t have real success till way later. It was all about Superman and Batman in the early days. Then comic book movies took off in 2008 with Iron Man and The Dark Knight. After that moment, there were 2-6 planned every year. Eventually, we started getting live action TV shows (More than The Incredible Hulk and the short lived Spider-Man show).
Now HBO has released information about how they want to conduct their new telling of the upcoming television series Watchmen. David Lindelöf is the creator for this project, the man behind Lost and The Leftovers, and casting has already begun. He recently announced in an absurdly long Instagram post that this will be a “remix of the original graphic novel.” Its not classified as a remake or a reboot, but a new chapter in the Watchmen saga. The heroes that died before are still dead but not forgotten. At first, fans seemed dissatisfied that it was going to deviate from the source material entirely and focus on something tired. This upcoming show, from a personal standpoint, has me excited because it wouldn’t make sense to redo the same story and reshow what was already great with Zack Snyder’s work. There are definitely other plots out there in this universe along with the chance to see what new engaging characters can be created. Besides, there were other Watchmen stories told as both sequels and prequels with Doomsday Clock and Before Watchmen, even though Moore and Gibbons had no involvement.
The main plot of the show is speculated to take place after the Trump Era. It would make sense following this path, since the original story took place during President Nixon’s second term after winning the Vietnam War. According to Lindelöf,
The story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built but the story will be original. Some of the characters will be unknown. New faces. New masks to cover them. We also intend to revisit the past century of Costumed Adventuring through a surprising yet familiar set of eyes…and it is here we will be taking our greatest risks.” Lindelof added that his version “has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. More importantly, it must be contemporary.”
The show will be risky but that’s what any great show does. It’s not afraid to take risks to give fans something different and unique. Not to mention HBO doesn’t hold back in showing its viewers all content. We may not get to see Rorschach or Ozymandias or Dr. Manhattan in this new world. However, wouldn’t it be awesome to see an aging Nite Owl and Silk Spectre? The possibilities are endless. As long as this show is thematically dark with pulp noir and it still has that vibe of grit that we saw in 2009, I’m sold. What do you guys think? Are you ready for another trip to New York?