This year, Comic-Con comes to you in the comfort of your own home. Instead of gathering in San Diego, key figures from NOS4A2 gathered together for a remote panel discussion to bring fans closer to the series.
In the half-hour long virtual panel, Executive Producer and Showrunner Jami O’Brien, star Zachary Quinto, and Executive Producer and author Joe Hill, joined moderator Clark Collis (a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly) to discuss how Season 2 diverges from the book, in addition to a behind-the-scenes look at the terrifying horrors to come.
In the most recent episode of NOS4A2, despite Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) and her loved ones’ best efforts, Wayne McQueen was captured by Charlie Manx (Quinto) and whisked away in the Wraith. Now, it’s a race against time to track down Manx and save Wayne before his soul is lost to Christmasland forever. But with the recent arrival of a new dark strong creative in Manx’s corner, and Vic grievously injured with her motorcycle “knife” in pieces, the fight to save Wayne will be the hardest fight of our heroes’ lives.
Even fans of the book might not know what to expect along the way. In this highlight from the Comic-Con panel, Joe Hill talks about the way Season 2 diverges from the novel in new and exciting ways:
“I love the second season. I think in some ways the second season is more exciting and more emotionally involving than the first,” says Hill. He goes on to say: “It does do some different things, but those all feel in keeping with the spirit of the novel. And I think it’s important that it does explore its own ideas and takes a few unexpected turns — because you don’t want people who read the book to be too comfortable, to be too sure they know exactly what’s going to happen all the time.”
“I’m very happy with how the TV show has expanded on and developed the mythology and the underlying concepts of the book,” Hill adds.
One of the ways the new season diverges from the book is how the series both develops new characters and expands upon what we know about the old ones. The series definitely deepens the wider mythology of strong creatives and the world around them.
“The world of Charlie and Vic has other people in it like them, and I was curious whether we could dig into that a little bit in the second season,” says Hill in another panel highlight. Pulling on this story thread led to the development of a compelling new character. “We started to explore this character called The Hourglass, who is somewhat of a Charlie Manx fanboy and is excited to do some business with him.” Viewers already got a taste of his power in Episode 5 when the Hourglass Man (Paul Schneider) used his power to turn federal agents into focused assassins against the McQueens. What will he do next?
But the baddies aren’t the only ones expanding their ranks in Season 2. While viewers saw a little of Lou Carmody (Jonathan Langdon) at the end of Season 1, Season 2 opens up his role considerably. “We spend a lot more time with [Lou] this Season,” says Jami O’Brien. “And I think he’s just a fantastic character,” she explains, “he was one of my favorites from the book.” Lou may not have supernatural powers like those that frequent the Parnassus “club for nightmares,” but his true power lies in “being a good dad” says O’Brien.
With the season halfway over, the group is able to share which one of their sequences was their favorite to bring to life.
Zachary Quinto reveals that he was initially the most concerned about Episode 5, when Manx and Bing Partridge get the upper hand at the Lake House and kidnap Wayne. “It was one of my favorite sequences in the book,” says Quinto, “and so I was really curious how it would play out on the show.” But when he got the script for the episode, Quinto admits he was taken aback. “I thought, ‘This is going to be impossible to shoot,'” he said. But once director Hanelle Culpeper came in and “directed the hell out of it” says Quinto, “it was actually the most fun episode of the season for me.”
Quinto says the episode is a perfect example of how the show’s amazing crew is able to come together, firing on all cylinders. “It’s just a masterful piece of storytelling,” says Hill. Jami O’Brien offers even more of an inside perspective on how the unique episode came together.
Which of course brings us to the present moment in the season. Now that Season 2 is halfway over, what can fans expect to see in the second half? Jami O’Brien, Zachary Quinto, and Joe Hill are more than happy to tease more of the horrors to come in this panel highlight:
“As bad as things seem, it can always get worse,” says Joe Hill, which prompts laughs of agreement. This doesn’t bode well for the McQueen tribe, but will surely lead to horror and drama fans rejoicing. “You’re going to see some unexpected action from Bing,” hints O’Brien. “Jahkara [Smith, who pays Maggie] might have to fight, too,” teases Hill.
“We’re building to an ultimate showdown of sorts,” says Quinto. “We’ve been building a lot of track to this moment and I think the last half of this season is going to drive us to the heart of this conflict,” he adds. “Fans of the book and fans of the first season are going to be excited about how that comes to life.”
For more Q&As with the NOS4A2 cast and creators, check out this interview with Zachary Quinto, who plays Charlie Manx. Quinto talks about jumping right into the action of Season 2, revealing the layers of the villainous vampire’s backstory, and more. Ashley Romans breaks down Tabitha Hutter’s wild fight scene in the House of Sleep. Jonathan Langdon goes behind-the-scenes on Lou’s run-in with Bing here. In her Q&A, Ashleigh Cummings shares what it’s like getting back into the saddle for Season 2, and why Vic is stuck in a cycle of trauma. Author Joe Hill teases the larger world of Season 2.
NOS4A2 airs Sundays at 10/9c on AMC and BBC America. For the latest news, sneak peeks, Q&As, videos exclusives, and more, sign up for the NOS4A2 Insiders Club.Read More