HBO is getting The Leftovers gang back together for their new Watchmen series adaptation. Showrunner Damon Lindelof was recruited to create a pilot based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ iconic graphic novel, and now, THR reports that Lindeloff has tapped director Nicole Kassell to helm the pilot.
Kassell made her directorial debut with the bracing, Spirit Award-nominated 2004 drama The Woodsman and went on to direct two of The Leftovers‘ most critically acclaimed episodes; Season 2’s “No Room at the Inn” and Season 3’s “It’s a Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt World,” both of which dug deep into the faith and inner conflict of Christopher Eccleston‘s devoted priest Matt Jamison. In recent years, Kassell has remained busy on TV with directing stints on challenging series like The Killing, Better Call Saul, Rectify, and The Americans. The Watchmen series will be her second pilot directing gig after helming the first episode of TNT’s delightful comedy Claws.
Lindelof scripted the pilot and will executive produce with Kassell. In addition to the pilot order, HBO has given an order for backup scripts. The series inspired by the classic comic, which offered a dark, satirical look at the superhero genre set in an alt-history 1985, when morally questionable superheroes shape the world as we knew it. After the murder of one of their own, the mostly-retired group of ex-heroes reunites to investigate and uncover a dangerous conspiracy. Zack Snyder directed the 2009 film adaptation.
We broke the news that HBO was considering developing a TV series adaptation of the seminal graphic novel back in 2015. At the time, HBO was eyeing a reunion with Snyder, but that iteration of the project never came to pass and Lindeloff, fresh of the critical acclaim of The Leftovers, was brought on board.
Shortly after rumors surfaced about Lindelof’s involvement, the writer spoke a bit about his apprehension for approaching the material, which had a profound impact on him as a storyteller.
“I’ve been very vocal about my love for those 12 issues that eventually became a graphic novel, that they were completely and totally inspiring for all the storytelling that I did subsequently, and that I owe a debt to it. So is that piece of material something that’s really interesting to me? Yes, but I do feel like I have to weigh the balance of ‘Should it exist?’ before I decide to take it on, and I’m sort of in that process now. I hold the source material in such high regard it would literally be the worst feeling in the world to screw it up. So I take it very seriously, there’s a lot of responsibility.”
No word yet on a possible release date, but with Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, and True Detective expected to premiere in 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised if HBO holds a big title like Watchmen to bolster the post-GoT era in the next year’s lineup.