Based on the epic DC Comics masterpiece by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, there are exactly 5 things we want and 5 things we really don't want from HBO's upcoming television adaptation of Watchmen. As an HBO original series, Watchmen imagines an alternate version of the modern world where superheroes are treated as notorious outlaws. Based on the teaser trailers, viewers can see that the anti-hero known as Rorshach has become a major influence on a group of masked vigilantes and their violent methods. With an ensemble cast that includes Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Jeremy Irons (Justice League), and Don Johnson (Miami Vice), let's hope this TV take is worth watching.
As one of its major themes, Watchmen satirizes the concept of superheroes. By removing the nostalgia of superheroes, the comic book explored its protagonists more as flawed human beings. With the sudden murder of Edward Blake, aka The Comedian, a group of former masked heroes find themselves drawn back into action and thrust into a conspiracy. Rorshach believes there is a serial killer hunting them down, but the former Nite Owl, Dan Dreiberg, is deep into his own personal problems. Will they be able to solve the mystery? Or is it already too late?
10 Not Another Zack Snyder Version (Don't Want)
The problem with filmmaker Zack Snyder's version of Watchmen was that there was no emotion behind the stylish shots. Snyder did a fantastic job recreating the origin story of Doctor Manhattan through Billy Crudup's narration. But there was a major problem during Laurie Juspeczk (Malin Ackerman)'s revelation on the moon.
Because Snyder recreated the scenario shot-for-shot, Ackerman's performance didn't hit the right emotional note because she's forced to adhere to the same dialogue and movement. If Ackerman made changes and made the lines work for her, the scene would have worked better.
9 Doomsday Clock (Want)
Even though the delays of each issue has strained reader's patience, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank's Doomsday Clock has developed a worthy sequel to the Watchmen. The interesting parts of Doomsday Clock examine the relationship between Superman and Dr. Manhattan.
Superman feels a deep love for humanity, while Dr. Manhattan has removed himself from it. In order for the television series to work, the show has to ground the presence of superheroes in a realistic way. The trailers hint that police officers need to cover their faces to protect their families.
8 Before Watchmen (Don't Want)
Before Watchmen was designed as a series of prequels featuring the iconic characters, such as Minutemen and Silk Spectre. The premise of back-stories and untold tales sounds interesting, but the character arcs that Moore envisioned feel complete. Why would readers want to follow Laurie as she takes on the mantle of Silk Spectre from her mother?
In Watchmen, Laurie wanted to nothing to do with her mother and recognized the costume as a publicity stunt. Instead of revisiting the Comedian and Nite Owl, let's find out what happened in the aftermath of the staged alien attack.
7 More Leftovers (Want)
Prometheus screenwriter Damon Lindelof adapted the cult novel, The Leftovers, by author Tom Perotta as an HBO series. The first season adapts the entire book and extends itself into new territory with two more seasons. Lindelof and Perotta knew there was more story to tell and more characters left to explore as the world's population suddenly disappeared, much like the beginning of Avengers: Endgame.
As showrunner, Lindelof should explore the deconstructive themes of heroism and self-identity, rather than an attempt at a straightforward remake. Lindelof should tell a new story but honor the original source material.
6 Another Lost Ending (Don't Want)
It took three people to create Lost but none of them knew how the story would end. Creators Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams, and Damon Lindelof had something special that would connect with viewers, even after the show concluded back in 2010.
Audiences still have questions after watching the disappointing series finale, "The End," because no answers were offered by the show creators. There are no reports so far about how many seasons HBO wants with Watchmen, or if it's just a miniseries event like The Night of. Let's hope there is an ending.
5 Ozymandias (Want)
Jeremy Irons has a tricky role that works as a protagonist and antagonist at the same time. Adrian Veidt, also known as Ozymandias, wants to destroy the entire world in order to save it. Because Ozymandias dropped a giant squid-like creature in the middle of Manhattan, killing a massive number of innocent civilians, peace talks have started between warring nations.
Adrian has become more of a criminal mastermind in Doomsday Clock as he carefully sets up the confrontation between Superman and Dr. Manhattan. He needs to create the catastrophe to make it happen.
4 The Button (Don't Want)
The yellow button, which also happens to be the Comedian's badge, has become the most recognizable image from the Watchmen comic and movie. Making its first appearance, the yellow smiley face is stained with blood splatter after Edward Blake is thrown out of the window of his apartment.
In Rebirth, Batman discovers the button planted in the Batcave as if someone broke in and wanted him to find it in plain sight. With the return of Thomas Wayne and the supposed death of Reverse Flash, the countdown symbolism just feels lost and played out as an accessory.
3 Standalone Stories (Want)
Due to its running time, the Watchmen movie didn't get a chance to explore the comic within the comic, Tales of the Black Freighter. The stranded Sea Captain is much like Ozymandias because he uses dead bodies of his own comrades in order to reach his goal. Lindelof may be able to pull off a TV Show within a TV Show though.
In all three seasons of The Leftovers, Christopher Eccleston had an entire standalone episode devoted to his character, Rev. Matt Jamison. It would be very easy for Lindelof to do something like this for his show.
2 Old Political Overtones (Don't Want)
The theme of political uprising and Big Brother, where the omnipresent government monitors everyone's move, is consistent throughout the Watchmen comic and movie. The political themes are important because certain events take place in this alternate history, such as the United States winning the Vietnam War and Nixon holding onto his presidency.
Because the HBO drama takes place in 2019, the show should look at racism and the political turmoil going on today. Based on the footage seen, the Seventh Cavalry reflects the rise of supremacist groups as they spread hate while wearing Rorshach's past.
1 Doctor Manhattan (Want)
Because the Watchmen comic concludes on major cliffhangers and interpretive open-endings, there is enough to warrant a sequel. Whatever happened to Dr. Manhattan now that he has exiled himself from humanity and started living on the moon?
Dr. Manhattan was willing to kill Rorshach in order to bring about world peace. With Dan and Laurie on the run from the government, Dr. Manhattan is the only one who knows the truth. Ozymandias has to wonder how long will he keep his mouth shut. What would cause Dr. Manhattan to return back to earth?