HBO’s hit series Watchmen may have officially ended its run, CNN has reported, with Damon Lindelof apparently passing on continuing Watchmen‘s story with a second season. Lindelof has been preparing fans of the series for his departure as far back as October, when he first floated around the idea of a Watchmen without his influence, going so far as saying he’d be interested to see what Ryan Coogler might be able to do with the series. Lindelof seems to have stuck to his word in telling USA Today that he was passing on a potential second season, while at the same time welcoming someone else to pick up his story where Lindelof left it off.
Although Lindelof’s absence might not necessarily guarantee Watchmen coming to an official conclusion, HBO let it be known that it was unlikely to continue with additional episodes without Lindelof’s guidance, which speaks volumes of the network’s respect for Lindelof and what he’d been able to achieve with his Watchmen universe. Especially since the graphic novel the series is based off of had long been seen as unfilmable since Alan Moore introduced the world to Watchmen way back in 1985. The one other attempt to adapt the graphic novel, which was Zack Snyder’s 2009’s Watchmen film was met with divisive reactions among the general audience and very modest box office results. Although faithful to the graphic novel to an extent, Snyder’s theatrical release of the film also included a major change in the film in an attempt to make Watchmen‘s story more accessible to viewers, a change that furthered the division of not only average moviegoers, but Watchmen loyalists. Lindelof, like Snyder, also took creative liberties with the Watchmen universe by not only making an adaptation of Alan Moore’s work, but a sequel, one that takes place three decades after the events of the original Watchmen.
Like the graphic novel, Lindelof’s Watchmen took place in an alternate America where African Americans received reparations in Oklahoma, Robert Redford had been president for thirty years, and electrical cars were a common thing whereas devices like cell phones were scarce if not nonexistent. Despite the liberties Lindelof took with the Watchmen universe, Lindelof managed to craft it in a way that was both accessible and engaging for audiences. Watchmen managed to generate more than 7 million viewers across all streaming platforms and earned a spot on American Film Institute’s list of top 2019 TV programs, garnering massive critical acclaim. Because of its success, it’s easy to see why the studio would be hesitant to move forward with another season without Lindelof’s involvement.