HBO News Blog

In Production: THE LEFTOVERS Pilot featuring Liv Tyler

By Jef Dinsmore on Jul 2, 2013 to The Leftovers

Tom-Perrotta-The-LeftoversHBO had given the go-ahead for Damon Lindelof to shoot a pilot episode for THE LEFTOVERS. The project, based on the Tom Perrotta novel, has been on our radar  for a while and is moving forward.  It is all about who is left behind after the biblical Rapture occurs. Assigned to the cast of this is quite a list of actors.

Here is a rundown of who is onboard:

Liv Tyler – As possibly the biggest star in the work (Lord Of The Rings) she plays Meg, a young woman on the verge of getting married, but needing an escape. As a result, she becomes a target for recruitment by members of an enigmatic cult.

Justin Theroux – As the male lead in the piece he plays chief of police Kevin Garvey, a father of two who is trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy in a world that is starting to completely reject that notion.

Amy Brenneman – This TV favorite (Private Practice & Judging Amy) plays Laurie, a woman who has left her entire life behind to also join the  mysterious cult.

Christopher Eccleston – The former Dr. Who will play Matt Jamison, former Reverend and current editor of his self-published tabloid.

Michael Gaston – He will play Dean, a man who seems to understand that times have changed and addresses it headon — often violently.

Carrie Coon– She will play Nora Durst, a wife and mother who is suddenly neither.

Ann Dowd – She will play Patti Levin, leader of the local chapter of the Guilty Remnant, an organization that is somewhere between a cult and a movement.

Amanda Warren – She will play Lucy Warburton, the take-no-prisoners mayor of the town of Mapleton where the story unfolds.

Margaret Qualley – She plays the sixteen year-old daughter of Police Chief Garvey. She is named Jill, a former straight-A student feeling the gradual unwinding of the world around her.

Chris Zylka – He will play Tom, a college dropout who has taken refuge with a mysterious guru.

Charlie Carver & his brother Max Carver – These two (late of Desperate Housewives as the Scavo twins) will play happy-go-lucky identical twins Scott and Adam Frost respectively. They are friends of Garvey’s daughter, whose laid-back demeanor brings levity to a dark world.

liv-tyler-hbophoto credit: Henry Burrows cc

Now, admittedly these cast listings are rather vague. This writer has not read the source material (at least not yet) so I am not sure how all the characters relate to each other. However, I can gather this much:

The story takes place in Mapleton and shows those left behind after the Rapture takes the chosen away. Who are left are people with their lives torn and changed. The mayor and the chief of police try to keep order; new religious fervor seem to arise and the town tries to understand and cope with what has happened and wonder what will happen next. Are they now abandoned souls? Are they now in Purgatory and are they destined for Hell? It sets up an intriguing dilemma.THE LEFTOVERS pilot is well underway. Reports state that production crews will start filming in Hastings-on-Hudson and Nyack New York in locales that will become the environs of Mapleton. The pilot is being directed by Peter Berg for Warner Bros.

HBOWatch will keep close tabs on this production and will report if HBO likes the end result enough to commit to a series.

  • BJJ Purple Belt

    Im in the pilot. Its going to be awesome

  • I’d really like to see this one get the go-ahead. This sounds like something I could see myself getting into & the cast looks really impressive!

  • No! Don’t deal with Lindelof, HBO! He is the biggest con artist on the screenwriting scene! This talentless hack is gonna drain you dry, leave you with a pile of stinking shit and blame the end result on others. Cancel this!

    • Jojocotto

      I find fanboy hate toward Lindelof to be so immature. I have no patience for people who got suckered in by Lost and were disappointed that it didn’t tie together, the show was hacky and it was obvious in the first season. Lost aside, he’s a perfectly serviceable writer. I don’t get the hate for Prometheus either, I think when one raises their own expectations to an unrealistic definition of success, the potential for letdown is great and then blame game begins.

      • Well, I find tolerance of and complacency with kindergarten level screenwriting to be so… idiotic and disgusting.

        No, I had no high expectations for Prometheus. But taking it as a sci-fi film independently, as a drama, one does not need to have a 20-20 vision to see thousands of plot holes, pseudoscience, instances of incoherence, of ridiculous characters equal to caricatures with no arcs, of religious undertones to explain hard science and, of course, let’s not forget, of his signature special moves of raising questions and invoking mysticism when he finds himself unable to answer them or finish a plotline, etc. Mind you, this is only viewing Prometheus without considering continuity issues and faithfulness to the Alien canon, a criterion which is not even worthy dabbling in in detail, as he fails in that regard outright and miserably.

        I am mad for the fact a hack such as himself is able to get any work on the screenwriting scene, but then again he synthesizes money from shit, a genuine modern alchemist no less, which is more than enough of a credit in his resume for producers (businessmen) to hire him. Normally, I would simply ignore all of his work and sleep well at night, but I am depressed HBO, a space of which I have very fond memories over the many years, has fallen to its biggest low point in history when it started dealing with this snake-oil salesman. I am telling you, this is worse than Game of Thrones and True Blood combined and squared.

  • J. Ross

    HBO does a consistently wonderful job at humanism left field concepts. This premise provides several opportunities to explore regrets, despair, and a human desire to be part of a group (even if that group is sometimes a cult).

    The only chance this might work for me on a personal level is if it stays truly dark in it’s subject matter. I really don’t want to see another dark comedy or cheeky take on how useless the human condition can be.

    I’m happy that it will gets it’s chance though. However, if this gets the go ahead I doubt we’ll be seeing American Gods.

    • SerTahu

      I must admit that as much as I am interested in The Leftovers, I am slightly worried that it is in direct competition with American Gods, which based on my admittedly limited knowledge of the two books sounds like the more interesting one. But perhaps if they were to air at very different times of the year HBO might be willing to greenlight two shows that are vaguely similar?

  • Awesome work, Jef! This looks pretty interesting. The premise seems out there for me but it could be done in a fanciful way that works well. Could see HBO going either way on it.










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