Warner Bros. Pictures
James Hibberd
September 20, 2017 AT 07:00 PM EDT

Watchmen TV series just took a major step toward becoming a reality.

HBO has greenlit a pilot for its adaptation of the dark superhero epic from showrunner Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers).

The drama is based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986 limited comic series, which is set in an alternate universe where the presence of superheroes has changed the course of history. In the story, a group of heroes known as the Watchmen encounter a massive, deadly conspiracy while investigating the murder of one of their own.

While pilots are not guaranteed to get a series order, Watchmen would seem to have several factors in its favor. HBO is seeking tentpole dramas to replace Game of Thrones after its upcoming eighth and final season, and Watchmen checks the creative boxes: The title would give HBO its first superhero series, one that’s based on source material both acclaimed and rather R-rated (which is part of the network’s drama series brand), plus it has a proven genre showrunner in Lindelof. While the Watchmen comic is also considered a rather tricky project to adapt, well, so was Thrones.

Previously, filmmaker Zack Snyder adapted Watchmen into a 2009 movie. Sources have told EW that Lindelof’s adaptation is a completely new and separate iteration.

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