Whatever the future holds for Watchmen, it won't have Damon Lindelof. In the aftermath of the 2020 Emmy Awards, where Lindelof's HBO series Watchmen was decorated with multiple Emmys including Outstanding Limited Series, the television producer said another season of Watchmen isn't out of the realm of possibility. He simply won't be involved.
What does this mean for Watchmen Season 2? Here's what you need to know.
What Happened? — On Wednesday, in a post-Emmys interview with Variety, Lindelof talked about the challenges of creating his award-winning Watchmen series. “It took us two years to make nine episodes of Watchmen, and in that same period of time we made almost 50 episodes of Lost," Lindelof said. “I honestly don’t know how it was done."
At the end of the interview, Lindelof speculated on the future of Watchmen. As far as Lindelof is concerned, his Watchmen story is finished and he has no interest in continuing for a theoretical "Season 2." At the same time, Lindelof is open to letting another producer take the reins.
“This was the story that I wanted to tell, but it could be much more expansive than this,” he said. “Not that I see myself as Willy Wonka, but it’s time to bring some other kids into the factory. I couldn’t imagine a greater focus for me than to throw open the doors to the factory and say, ‘I will show you around and tell you what I learned here, but you’ve got to bring the ingredients that you want to mix up here and make your own candy.’"
Conceived as a sequel to the 1986 DC Comics series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen follows events 34 years after the original comic. Set in an alternate 2019, masked police officer Angela Abar (played by Regina King, who also won an Emmy for her performance) fights an active network of white supremacists while discovering her connection to the world's first masked superhero.
“The idea that the Seventh Cavalry, who seem to be presenting a white supremacist ideology in the pilot, have appropriated Rorschach based on his writings, as a white supremacist," Lindelof said at a July 2019 Television Critics Association event. "Rorschach is dead, he’s not around to basically say, ‘You got it all wrong.'”
How Watchmen set up Season 2 — At the end of Watchmen, Angela is left with an egg that may or may not contain the powers of her husband, Doctor Manhattan. It is heavily implied through dialogue that Manhattan found a way to transfer his powers through "an organic medium." The show ends after Angela has eaten the egg and attempts to walk on the surface of her backyard pool.
Whether or not Watchmen continues, the question of whether Angela Abar becomes the "new" Doctor Manhattan is arguably the biggest that Season 2 would need to answer.
It should be said that HBO's Watchmen is not the only Watchmen "sequel." In 2017, DC Comics published a follow-up, Doomsday Clock, which involved a crossover with the mainstream DC Universe. In October, DC will publish another spin-off sequel starring Rorschach, from writer Tom King. While Lindelof's Watchmen and DC's Watchmen sequel comics inhabit different canons, both offer their own spins on events established by the original Watchmen comics.
The Inverse Analysis — There was so much working against a TV sequel to Watchmen that it's nothing short of a miracle it went so right. Because it feels like the HBO series had a one-in-a-million chance of being a worthy and worthwhile text, any notion of "more Watchmen" just feels like gambling.
But if Lindelof's bold approach to the material proves anything, it's that nothing is sacred and not everything needs the creators. Alan Moore is adamantly disassociated with any follow-ups to his Watchmen (his collaborator Dave Gibbons, on the other hand, has been more game) and never gave his blessing to Damon Lindelof. Meanwhile, Lindelof already seems more willing to hand over the keys than Alan Moore ever was. Whatever happens when it comes to future Watchmen, one thing is for sure: Nothing ever ends.