As the annual Emmy Awards celebrate the best in the business, a number of television shows are getting the praise that they deserve. Among them is the HBO original show Watchmen, a limited series exploring the science fiction world of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Late last year, the superhero drama took the world by storm during its 9-episode story arc, ending in a stunning finale that left audiences begging for more. Given its obvious industry success, could a second chapter be in Watchmen's future?
The finale episode of Watchmen, which aired in December, neatly wrapped up the action-packed, twisted storyline of the Damon Lindelof project. We watched our
boyfriend hero Doctor Manhattan/Cal Abar (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) be zapped into smithereens, leaving the fate of the world in the hands of his wife Angela (Regina King), who ended up saving humanity from the clutches of the white supremacist Cyclops organization. And at the end of it all, we learned that Angela may or may not have gained superpowers after eating what is safe to assume was an atomically-altered egg.
It feels like this story is far from over — Angela literally walked on water! — but we might just have to be satisfied with what we got last year. Even with the Emmys buzz, the likelihood of a follow up to this season is slim to none.
When the show was on air, showrunner Lindelof revealed that he wasn't at all interested in exploring the story of Doctor Manhattan any further. Lindelof felt like he'd put his heart and soul into all nine episodes of the HBO limited series, and in his opinion, that was more than enough.
“I never wanna close the door completely because if two, three years from now I say, I just had another idea, it will be that much harder to open," the writer-director reiterated in conversation with Deadline in February. "But I would say it’s barely ajar."
"I think that there are no current plans to make any more Watchmen," he continued. "If the idea comes, I would be enthusiastic about it, the idea may not come from me. I would be super excited about it coming from someone else. So my position hasn’t changed."
Here's the thing: I get it. Not every show needs to continue in perpetuity, and all good things must come to an end. And who knows — season two of Watchmen could have descended into madness à la Game of Thrones, letting down all of the people who'd obsessed over it. But is Lindelof leaving a perfect masterpiece as it is, or is he jumping the shark on a show that still has so much more to offer?
Watchmen is still widely considered one of the best shows of 2019, and as a result, it earned seven different Emmy nominations. King is rightfully up for her fourth win, and Abdul-Mateen might take home his very first Emmy. Four other Watchmen stars (Jeremy Irons, Louis Gossett Jr., Jean Smart, and Jovan Adepo) are nominated, and the show is also a nominee in the Best Limited Series category. In total, the series racked up a total of 26 Emmy nominations, the most of any show in the competition. Should the comic book adaptation sweep the competition tonight, wouldn't a second chapter be warranted?
Lindelof has given HBO his blessing to continue the story without him, and if he isn't down for a part two, neither is his lead actress. Even with Angela's new powers and a world of bad guys to take down — a hero's job is never done — the actress is only willing to come back for another season of Watchmen under the right circumstances. (Read: the return of her showrunner.)
"Honestly, I feel like I think HBO would want it back in a heartbeat...I think that the possibilities are infinite," she shared with Reese Witherspoon during their Variety‘s Actors on Actors interview. But I feel that if Damon doesn’t see it, then it’s going to be a no for me.”
Perhaps a few Emmy wins will spark inspiration for a second season, even if that means moving on without Lindelof. Though I'm not exactly convinced that a Watchmen season sans King will hit the same.