Television has come a long way in the past seven years and with the popularity of comic book entertainment on the big and small screen, right now might be the best time to reboot “Watchmen” as a TV series.
In 2009, Zack Snyder brought the Alan Moore story to the world of cinema and comic-book fans far and wide were eager, albeit hesitant, to see how well it would translate. It was a visually stunning movie, to be sure, with a strong performance by the ensemble cast.
But, between the use of the opening credits to supply backstory and the overcrowding of slow-motion running shots — instead of substantial subject matter and plot — the movie really didn’t hit with audiences and ended up tanking at the box office. No matter, here is why this might be the perfect time to bring “Watchmen” to the small-screen …
Between cyber warfare, the ever-growing terrorist threat of groups like ISIS and America’s current political climate (see: Donald Trump nuclear weapons), 2016 is the prime year to bring Alan Moore’s Doomsday Clock scenario back to the forefront of popular culture.
We are currently in the midst of some frightening times. This reality would probably lead Ozymandias down his insanely destructive path sooner than later while the Comedian would just sit back and laugh at the whole darn thing. A “Watchmen” TV series could easily provide us a mirror to the bonkers ride the world has been on these past couple of years. That sort of catharsis is always a welcome thing.
Now, we live in a world where the zombie apocalypse reigns supreme on cable, Barry Allen speeds throughout primetime and Marvel’s “Defenders” are setup to take Netflix by storm. And, oh yes, AMC’s “Preacher” is now totally a thing. If ever there was a time for catharsis on television, this would be it.
Let’s talk about “Preacher” for a moment. Like “Watchmen,” it’s a beloved comic series that people have been trying to make into a movie for years. For one reason or another, it never worked out. Mostly, the notion of fitting everything from the comics into a cohesive and entertaining story on screen was what caused many of the road blocks. But, as fans now know, AMC is a network open to such crazy possibilities. And even if the first season of the series was met with mixed reviews in its uneven tone, it shows that even the most absurd subject matter isn’t off limits.
“The Walking Dead” premiered on the network in 2010 and opened the doors to what really is possible in this present age of television. And before Jeffrey Dean Morgan teased his sinister new role of Negan to “TWD” fans everywhere, many may remember him as The Comedian in the “Watchmen” movie.
While we’re on the topic of AMC-to-Watchmen connections, we’d be remiss to not point out Jackie Earle Haley — recently seen as Odin Quincannon in “Preacher” — showed up in the movie as everyone’s favorite psychopath, Rorschach.
With all the AMC talk above, this is by no means a pitch to AMC to pick up a “Watchmen” TV series. That would definitely be cool, but the budget to make something like this happen may be above the network’s grasps. Plus, this is DC Comics we’re talking about here.
As we’ve seen in recent years, the comic book properties DC has adapted to film have not really hit with audiences. And with “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” “Gotham” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” it’s a safe assessment that their stories fair far better on the small-screen.
But while those shows we mentioned above have been watered down for broadcast network consumption, we’d prefer any “Watchmen” series to hit elsewhere. It’d have to, given the dark depths the story takes. With Netflix’s lock on Marvel properties, could a “Watchmen” TV reboot find its way to Amazon or Hulu? FX is out of the running, we assume, as they’re in bed with Marvel for the series, “Legion.”
Or would a show like this work better on a premium cable channel? HBO already has a decent roster but with a “Game of Thrones” ending in sight, maybe they’d be the perfect spot to bring a series like this to life? They definitely have the budget for the special effects that would be needed to pull it off right. However, we’d cross our fingers for a Showtime pickup. Since “Penny Dreadful” went off the air, the former home of “Dexter” has been a bit lacking in the genre department.
All that being said, we have hopes these conversations are being had in some development meeting right now. After-all, with the current state of the world — and the political climate in America — it is the perfect time to revisit Alan Moore’s Doomsday Clock scenario.