Last year, Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers) entered talks with HBO to develop a television adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ “Watchmen,” the iconic and highly acclaimed graphic-novel. After finding themselves suitably impressed with the pilot, HBO handed down a series order last month and it’s expected that the project will premiere in next year. However, Damon Lindelof has said that the Watchmen series won’t be a direct adaptation, but rather a remix of sorts, similar to FX’s Fargo TV series. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Dave Gibbons revealed that he knows a little about what Damon Lindelof has planned and that’s quite refreshing and unexpected.
I do know a little about it. I’ve had conversations with Damon, and I’ve read the screenplay for the pilot. I don’t think it’s my place to say too much about it, other than I found Damon’s approach to be really refreshing and exciting and unexpected. I don’t think it’s gonna be what people think it’s going to be. It certainly wasn’t what I imagined it to be. I think it’s extremely fresh. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the screen.
Gibbons went on to say that he’s been resistant to comic-book prequels and sequels, but believes that what Damon Lindelof is doing is very different. “While it’s very reverential and true to the source material (by which I mean the Watchmen graphic novel that Alan and I did), it’s not retreading the same ground, it’s not a reinterpretation of it,” Gibbons said. “It approaches it in a completely unexpected way.“
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We’ll be coming up on the 10th anniversary of the previous adaptation of Watchmen next year, and Dave Gibbons took some time to discuss his experiences on the Zack Snyder film. “There was movie interest in Watchmen from the very beginning. Way back when, Alan and I had a meeting with Joel Silver, who’s produced a lot of high-grossing action movies in his time,” Gibbons said. “There was even talk of Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Dr. Manhattan. Alan also had a very brief discussion with Terry Gilliam, where I think they agreed Watchmen was unfilmable.” Gibbons went on to say that producer Larry Gordon had said that the problem with the project was that it didn’t have any recognizable characters or a clear star. “It was only after there had been a number of Batman and Superman movies that the general public would get the whole idea of superheroes, and perhaps be ready to have what they saw on screen be deconstructed, the way Watchmen had originally deconstructed Superman and Batman comic books,” Gibbons added.
By the time it did come around Alan had unfortunately fallen out of love with Hollywood because of his experiences with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell, so he didn’t want anything to do with it. He was perfectly happy with me being involved, though. Once I had a conversation with Zack Snyder I realized he got it, he felt like a safe pair of hands. I gave them notes on the screenplay, and went and saw some scenes being shot, which was a huge thrill to see these things blossom forth into three-dimensional reality. With Watchmen, Zack made a good movie, a flawed movie certainly, but with some moments of real genius and wonder.
Watchmen will premiere on HBO on 2019.
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