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Thoughts on a Possible Second Season of Watchmen

July 4, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Watchmen Rorshachs

With anything that’s popular, people will always want more. This is especially true with HBO’s Watchmen series. Damon Lindelof did the near-impossible by creating a wonderful extension of the universe, with the focus of it being a “one and done” season show. 

Lindelof made waves when he said the most likely wouldn’t be returning for a second season and recently expanded on those thoughts. In an interview with Collider Connected, Lindelof was asked if he still felt “tapped out” on doing more with Watchmen:

“It’s not even about being tapped out, it’s more about me wanting to honor what Watchmen was before I became a part of it. The legacy of Watchmen is Alan [Moore] and Dave [Gibbons] created it and it sat for 30 years, obviously Zack [Snyder] made his movie which was a pretty canonical adaptation of the 12 issues, and then we made our season of television. That was my turn. I got in the middle of the dance floor for a minute and got to do my move, but then you retreat to the edge of the circle and it’s someone else’s turn to dance.”

He went on to say that he was interested in someone else doing a season 2:

“Suffice it to say that I just feel like what’s best for Watchmen, this thing that I love, is for someone else to take their shot at it. I think that that’s just gonna be much more interesting than anything that I would do moving forwards. And it’s not that I take the opportunity for granted. I’ve learned that not working with actors again is stupid, so I would love to work with Carrie Coon again and I would love to work with Regina King again and Jean Smart and Tim Blake Nelson and Justin Theroux and Kevin Carroll and Jovan Adepo, who I’ve worked with twice now. These actors in the world of Watchmen. But at the same time, unless I have an idea that is as important to me as Tulsa ’21 was, then I shouldn’t do it. And I haven’t had that idea, and I want to create the space versus people waiting for me to change my mind. I want to create the space for people to come forward and say, ‘I have an idea.’”

The big question is what are the odds of Watchmen returning. It looks to be a when, not if:

“I think you and I both know there’s going to be more Watchmen. That’s going to happen. And whether or not the individuals who decide that they want there to be more Watchmen pick this story up where it left off or they do an entirely different kind of Watchmen story, that’s up to them. But I am seeing a lot of people who respond to the show are catalyzed and interested in what the world would look like if it were being reshaped by Angela Abar. I don’t have a good answer to that question, but that’s why it cut to black when it did.”

Looking at the Watchmen, the behind-the-scenes story is as complex and layered as the classic book itself.  
“My book is a comic book. Not a movie, not a novel. A comic book,” Alan Moore referring to Watchmen told Entertainment Weekly back in 2005. “It’s been made in a certain way, and designed to be read a certain way.”

That didn’t stop Zack Snyder’s Watchmen movie from being made in 2009. Even though it had its detractors, Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons wasn’t one of them.

“I think Watchmen was a really difficult movie to make because of the shape of the comic book and the way the story didn’t fit comfortably in a movie,” said Gibbons. “I think Zack Snyder did a great job and I was really happy with it. The other thing about it is that we sold a lot of copies of the graphic novel. Which meant even people who didn’t like the movie were now reading Alan’s words or looking at my pictures.”

Moore’s thoughts didn’t stop HBO from releasing the TV series in 2019 either. Lindelof knew it was a daunting task, especially creating under the long shadow that Moore cast. 

“There is no version of Watchmen I could make that would please him,” Lindelof said in an interview with Quartz. “Not only that, but there’s no version of Watchmen I could make that he would ever watch.”

While Lindelof’s Watchmen didn’t directly adapt Moore’s story it turned tweaked things a little to tell a new one that takes place in a present-day version of the fictional world Moore and Gibbons created.

Against the odds, Lindelof was able to do the source material justice, winning over a doubting fanbase and earning critical acclaim. More importantly, it had Gibbons in its corner.

The artist said, “The TV series is sort of interesting because it’s actually set 30 years after [the events of Watchmen]. If you imagine you lived in a world where Watchmen happened back in the ‘80s, you’re now in that world today. The way it’s changed is completely unexpected. It was certainly unexpected to me. There’s enough distance where it doesn’t feel like it’s a pastiche or a rehash. It all feels completely fresh.”

“I’ve seen the pilot and I’ve read four or five of the screenplays and I’m absolutely blown away by it. If you’re familiar with Watchmen, there’s all sorts of stuff that’s going to make your little fanboy heart happy. If you’re not familiar with it, it stands alone as a really interesting alternate reality story.”

What do you think? Do you want another season, even without Lindelof’s involvement?