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'Lost's Damon Lindelof Promises More Questions In HBO's 'The Leftovers'

At HBO's Television Critics Association's winter press event, 'Lost' co-creator Damon Lindelof dished details on what viewers can expect from his new HBO show 'The Leftovers'.

Based on the Tom Perrotta novel, The Leftovers begins three years after 140 million people suddenly disappear from the planet in a Rapture-like event.

"You've got this big, crazy, supernatural potentially spiritual idea that informs every episode of the show that we'll ever make, which is that this thing happened, this sudden departure of 140 million people which depending on what side of it you're on, could be the Rapture," explained Lindelof. "There could be some yet-as-undetermined scientific explanation for it, but still it's miraculous."

"The traditional way of telling this story is you're in immediate aftermath of this event. It's all that anyone can talk about. Dropping into these people's lives three years later and saying 'This is the moment in which they get back to their lives as they were or they decide that they can't get back to their lives as they were,' that's a much more interesting idea."

"So all decisions that the characters are making is informed by a supernatural idea, but the show is not presenting ongoing supernatural phenomena. You're not looking at the sky seeing dragons like you are in Game of Thrones. Mulder and Scully are not showing up and knocking on doors. But this idea of the elephant in the room of the departure informs everything that's happening on this show, and I felt that was a fairly unique thing that I hadn't really seen before on TV."

"If 'Lost' and 'Friday Night Lights' had a baby and then that baby was severely neglected, that would be 'The Leftovers,'" he laughed.

"This is going to be a show about sudden and abrupt loss and more importantly, what will at least in its initial presentation seem to be one that you can't receive closure from. If someone dies, that's a horrible thing and they must be mourned. But in this instance, you don't even know if you're supposed to mourn who's been departed because they could be walking through your door tomorrow."

"These characters are not actively searching for what happened with the departure," he said. "They are actively searching for what they're supposed to do with their lives."

As for comparisons so his previous series, 'Lost', and whether some frustrated fans will return, Lindelof said: "I know there were a lot of people who were frustrated with the way it ended, there were other people who were not frustrated with how the show ended, and there were a lot of people who gave up before the show ended. I think the same will be true of The Leftovers and there's no way I can guarantee otherwise."

"I don't want to say whether we're going to do that ending or not on the show, but I can say the ending in the book is not the ending of the series. We'll be moving past the ending in the book fairly quickly in terms of the life of the series."

'The Leftovers' will premiere this summer and production the series is set to begin next month.

January 15, 2014 |

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