It was announced back in September of 2017 that Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof would bring Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons monumental graphic novel Watchmen to the small screen on HBO. Developments have been sparse but the show’s pilot will be directed by Nicole Kassell. Lindelof and Kassell will executive produce the Watchmen pilot.
This will be a bit of a reunion for Kassell and Lindelof as she helmed two episodes of his HBO series The Leftovers, the season 2 “No Room at the Inn” and season 3 “It’s A Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World,” both of which were lauded by critics. This is Kassell’s second pilot directing job after TNT’s Claws and one of the highest-profile premium pilot assignments for a female director. She also directed an episode of the Martin Scorsese HBO drama Vinyl, as well as FX’s The Americans, AMC’s Better Call Saul, and ABC’s American Crime. Kassell’s first feature film – The Woodsman starring Kevin Bacon – premiered in competition at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She is a seasoned vet, capable of great range and understanding of dense, layered material making her a prime choice to helm HBO’s Watchmen.
Originally published as a 12-issue miniseries beginning in 1986, Watchmen quickly become one of sequential art’s most acclaimed stories. Zack Snyder’s feature adaptation of Watchmen, meanwhile, was released in 2009 and brought in just $185 million at the worldwide box office. The cast includes Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino, and Patrick Wilson. Wilson even expressed interest in reprising his role as Nite Owl in the HBO series.
Showrunner Lindelof has mentioned the impact Watchmen has had on him since his youth, and how the story and its characters continue to inspire his creativity today. “From the flashbacks to the nonlinear storytelling to the deeply flawed heroes, these are all elements that I try to put into everything I write,” Lindelof stated several years ago. Lindelof went on to praise Zack Snyder’s version, calling it “the most married-to-the-original-text version of Watchmen that could’ve been made.”
No word yet on a possible release date, but with Game Of Thrones, Big Little Lies, and True Detective expected to premiere in 2019, look for Watchmen to hit around the time GoT will be wrapping up its run. HBO is going to need a bulked-up roster to keep viewers.
Images: DC, Warner Bros., HBO