The Internet is buzzing with excitement with the news that a live-action Watchmen television series is in development at HBO. Many are hoping that the format of premium cable will allow the popular DC Comics miniseries, and the cast of characters within it, to be adapted to its full potential.
But could that adaptation entail a connection to one of DC's other live-action enterprises - the DC Extended Universe? We break down the possibility.
The biggest connection between Watchmen and the DCEU is Zack Snyder, who helmed 2009's Watchmen film before turning to DCEU outputs Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League. Many have hypothesized that the Watchmen already have tied within the DCEU, thanks to a small handful of Easter eggs hidden in past films.
In Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Easter eggs are found through pieces of graffiti, with both 'The End is Nigh' and a translation of 'Who Watches the Watchmen?' shown in the film. Many consider Suicide Squad to have a Watchmen Easter egg as well, with a smiley face sign bearing a striking resemblance to the button worn by The Comedian.
While these Easter eggs are small, and can easily be squared away as a nod to Snyder's Watchmen film, they're certainly worth keeping an eye on. Even though there are no reports about Snyder being involved with the Watchmen series, he has laid enough of a groundwork for it to potentially connect back to the DCEU.
But if the Easter eggs were to come to fruition, how exactly could that happen?
We suggested in January of this year that characters from Watchmen could possibly make their way to the DCEU, in the form of antagonists for Justice League 3. While the narrative that would be used to do so is up for speculation, the obvious guess is through the Rebirth storyline, which significantly tied the seemingly-contained universe of Watchmen to the larger DC Comics universe.
Seeing the DCEU bring the Watchmen into the fold - through some sort of adaptation of last year's Rebirth storyline - is entirely plausible. Aside from Snyder, there's DC Comics president and CCO Geoff Johns, who penned the DC Rebirth special and recently compared the universe-wide arc to the company's plans with the DCEU. While the idea of adapting Rebirth straight for the big screen does take Johns' comments rather literally, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
With the characters of Watchmen essentially existing in their own separate comic universe from the DC Comics universe, there's no reason the same couldn't happen between the upcoming television series and the DCEU.
A partnership could easily exist along the lines of what another fictional universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been able to establish between its films and Netflix television shows - pieces of content that are connected in a general sense, but that don't need to actually react to the events of each other all the time.
If anything, bringing the world of Watchmen to the smaller screen allows the story to be effectively told, without having to commit to the budget and scheduling of another Watchmen feature film. And with the current era of "peak TV" drawing A-listers into various television projects such as Westworld, American Gods, and Big Little Lies, there's no telling what star-studded cast the Watchmen series would be able to gather.
The television series would be able to serve as a combination of the strengths of Snyder's Watchmen film, as well as new opportunities and storytelling abilities. The end result could serve as a worthy companion piece to the DCEU films, without either of them having to directly rely on one another prior to the hypothetical Justice League 3.
In Justice League, fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder, from a screenplay by Chris Terrio, based on a story by Snyder and Terrio, and stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons, and Ciarán Hinds.
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