‘Future Man’ Cast and Creators on Their High-Concept, High Stakes, High Comedy Sci-Fi
Hulu’s upcoming sci-fi comedy series Future Man was created by the team who previously brought us This Is the End and Pineapple Express. It stars The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson as a time-traveling janitor. It even, apparently, has real lasers.
On hand at Comic-Con to give us a closer look at Future Man were director and producer Seth Rogen, producers Ben Karlin, Kyle Hunter, and Ariel Shaffir, and cast Josh Hutcherson, Eliza Coupe, and Derek Wilson. Read on for more about the show’s characters, story, and the craziness within.
With post-production having just started the week before, everyone was hesitant to divulge too much information about what happens in the show. According to Rogen, “it’s weird to have a comedy where we can’t spoil what happens. That is almost the craziest thing that we got to do, is make a comedy that really has a plot to it.”
So here’s what we do know about the plot: Hutcherson plays Josh Futturman, janitor at an STD research clinic by day, relentless gamer by night. His game of choice is The Biotic Wars, a nigh-unbeatable game that others have long since given up on. After some advice from an unlikely source, he finally beats the game – only to receive two visitors from the future, resistance leaders Tiger and Wolf (Coupe and Wilson). They’ve sent this game back in time as a recruitment tool to unearth the Chosen One, someone they hope will save the last of humanity from evil intergalactic invaders. Futturman isn’t exactly the warrior they expected to find.
What’s even more mysterious is how time travel plays into all of this. How does going even further back in time help humanity’s future? A tight-lipped Shaffir discloses only this: “I can tell you that they travel to the sixties. I can tell you that they travel to the eighties, and the nineties, and a few more times I won’t reveal… There is some future in there too.” It’s possible that the hesitance to delve into detail is due to the show’s complexity. Karlin even said, while urging audiences to embrace the binge-watching potential of the show, that “if a day or two passes between episodes, you’re not going to be able to follow the story.”
The ability to drop all episodes of this season at once was one of the major reasons the creators decided to go with Hulu instead of a standard network. In addition to that, Hunter said, “we really felt like Hulu would let us do anything, and they really have. And even when we originally pitched them a broad version of the season, they were gravitating to our most crazy, depraved ideas, so that solidified the fact that we definitely went with the right network, giving you that sort of creative freedom.”
Crazy and depraved? The team’s previous credits do include films such as Sausage Party, but Hunter insists that the show is “definitely not just leaning on raunchy elements. We really wanted to create a hero’s journey and have really complex characters.” Karlin agrees:
“Usually a [comedic genre] show will touch on it, but it’s really very firmly rooted in the comedy and just a little bit of light genre added in. We really embraced the challenge of trying to seamlessly bring together comedy, action, sci-fi. The show is dramatic at times, and some of the scenes have all of that going on at the same time. And it’s weird to watch, but that was the most exciting part for us really: how could we make this fight really cool, but also have a comedic element to it, and can those things exist side-by-side?”
Hutcherson said that filming Future Man was surprisingly similar to his experience on Hunger Games:
“This is very far from low key. And scale-wise, there are moments where it felt bigger than some moments on Hunger Games.. It’s interesting because me, Eliza, and Derek, the three of us have a very tight relationship, so in a way it is echoing memories of The Hunger Games cast’s relationship. Never the same, of course, but beautiful in its own way.”
Scale, scope, and stakes seem to be central to the draw of the show. What glimpse into the depths of this craziness could Hutcherson give us? After a thoughtful pause, he offered only this: “It’s hard to walk in heels. It’s even harder to run in them. And no possums were harmed in the making of the show.”
Future Man is coming soon to Hulu.