Zack Snyder’s Watchmen movie did a lot of things right, but a Watchmen HBO Show would have the space it needs to do more and do it better.
Nearly 30 years after its publication, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen is still widely considered the greatest graphic novel of all time. Unfortunately, the 2009 big screen adaptation wasn’t quite as universally acclaimed. Watchmen is a dense book, which is why director Terry Gilliam once declared it “unfilmable.” (Gilliam was attached to the project before Zack Snyder took over.)
Now, rumor has it that the film’s director Zack Snyder is in talks to develop a Watchmen HBO show. Little is known about the proposed series at this point, but a 10 or 12 episode miniseries could be a much better fit for a story like Watchmen that covers so many different characters and time periods. Here are six ways a Watchmen HBO show could distinguish itself from (and improve on) the movie.
6. Add in “The Tales of the Black Freighter” Sequences
Technically, this was already a part of the 3 ½ hour long “Ultimate Cut” of Watchmen released on the DVD, but anyone who has seen that version knows it doesn’t quite do the story justice. “Black Freighter” is a pirate comic book read by a boy at a New York City newsstand throughout the Watchmen story.
Writer Alan Moore reasoned that no one in the Watchmen universe would want to read superhero comics since superheroes were already among them, but “Black Freighter” isn’t just a cool little Easter egg. The story of a sea captain slowly losing pieces of his humanity as he makes a raft out of his shipmates to return home only to realize his quest has made him a monster mirrors the main story of Ozymandias, the main antagonist of Watchmen. “Black Freighter” sequences in the TV series could be animated, like in the DVD release, or live-action. Either way, these scenes could be a great way to end each week’s episode, driving home its main themes and foreshadowing the next episode.