Back in the 1990s and mid-2000s, Watchmen was stuck in development hell. Director Terry Gilliam made many attempts to get his take off the ground but just couldn’t make it work, eventually trying to pitch his project as a five episode miniseries. At the time, the TV production landscape was drastically different and, understandably, no studio was willing to risk a big budget superhero miniseries full of expensive special effects. Then Zack Snyder came along and the rest is history.
Snyder’s take on Watchmen just didn’t seem to understand what Alan Moore was trying to say in his comic, though. Instead, it inserted distractingly gory action and one of the most ludicrous sex scenes ever committed to celluloid. I’ll give it some kudos, though, as Jackie Earle Haley was an excellent Rorschach and the Koyaanisqatsi soundtracked Dr. Manhattan origin scene was brilliant.
But now, against the odds, HBO is to realize Terry Gilliam’s dream and do a proper ten episode miniseries of Watchmen. Details are scarce at the moment, but we imagine that casting is already underway and it would seem that the network may have found its Dr. Manhattan. That’s because WWE star John Cena has taken to Instagram to post two very intriguing pics, seen in the gallery below. One is of the aforementioned character, while the other is of The Button, which is one of the most iconic symbols from Watchmen.
So, does this mean that Cena’s teasing us that he’s snagged a role in the upcoming adaptation? It’s possible, but he could also just be having some fun with his fans. Then again, we do know that he’s trying to break into acting and have already seen him in more than a handful of films. He’s certainly got the build and physique to portray Dr. Manhattan, too, and would be an interesting choice for the part. Still, without any confirmation from HBO, it’s best to file this one in the speculation cabinet for now.
As for the project itself, well, on the one hand, a Watchmen TV show is a very exciting prospect because there’s so much material to adapt from the original book. After all, there’s a reason why it’s often referred to as being “the War and Peace of comic books.” Even though Snyder hit the major beats in the feature film, it was impossible to include all the minutiae – and there’s also the original ending featuring the giant squid to consider.
But on the other, it’s hard to forget that an animated movie might also be on the way, causing even the most devoted of fans to question whether three separate adaptations of the same book arriving in such a short time span are really necessary. Naturally, one would think the Before Watchmen prequel comics would be ideal source material for a television series, but the decision isn’t up to us.
For now, we’ll remain cautiously optimistic about the Watchmen TV show and will be sure to bring you any further updates as they arise.