Heroes Reborn is the next chapter in the story of people with extraordinary powers, featured in the NBC series Heroes (2006-2010). The show is getting new life with a 13-episode series this fall on the network. The show takes place five years after the end of Season 4, after Claire Bennett (Hayden Panettiere) announced the existence of humans with superpowers to the world.
The heroes are now called “Evos” or evolved humans. Some as-yet-unnamed tragedy has occurred and the Evos are now forced to register with the government and some of them are disappearing. HRG, or Horn Rimmed Glasses (Jack Coleman) is trying to live a normal life in the suburbs, but a conspiracy theorist named Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski) pulls him back into the fray. He seems to be missing memories as well.
We’ll be introduced to a whole new crop of heroes through the series, as well as a series of webisodes called Dark Matters, and two different games for console/PC called Heroes Reborn: Gemini, and for smartphone/tablet called Heroes Reborn: Enigma. We got a chance to chat with the cast, including Jack Coleman, Greg Grunberg, Zachary Levi, Ryan Guzman, Judy Shekoni, Danika Yarosh, Robbie Kay, Gatlin Green, Henry Zabrowski Jimmy Jean-Louis, Masi Oka and Dylan Bruce. We also got a chance to talk to creator Tim Kring. Here’s what we learned about the show.
- Kring told us that he’s been talking about doing a continuation of the series for some time. “It’s been percolating. I do think the timing of bringing something back is a sensitive thing. You don’t want to wait too long and you don’t want to come back too early. At the end of the day, we had a story to tell and we also left a lot of fans hanging with a cliffhanger ending to the previous series. At the time, the show as extremely popular in all sorts of ways that now, we are actually really counting. It was the number one most downloaded show the year it was canceled. One of the most streamed shows, one of the most DVRd shows. The audience was out there. A very big audience. NBC saw that there was still a very potent audience out there and if we’re lucky, this is the right time to come back.”
- Kring talked about the supplemental material; the webisodes, the six novellas and the two games coming out for the show as well as the app, which will allow you to catch up with where everyone is. “We realized that the audience is living in all sorts of places. It’s a very simple equation on my part, to fish where the fish are. If they are gamers, if they are on their mobile phones all the time, they are online all the time, they read comic books, we want to tell a story that reaches across those multiple platforms to do that. Heroes has always had a very deep canon, a very deep mythology that a lot of it simply can’t be put on the show itself. It has to be put on these other platforms.
- Kring said that this is a self-contained story in 13 episodes. Though he didn’t rule out another season, he said that thinking was to tell this story, beginning to end.
He talked about the scene we saw with Oka’s Hiro cutting off the arms of a clone with a samurai sword and then stabbing him in the chest. He explained that the show isn’t always that violent, but that this guy gets killed so many times that it’s almost funny. We mentioned Kenny from South Park, and he laughed and agreed.
- Jean-Louis played the Haitian and said his returning character remains mysterious. He told us that when the show ended in 2010, the big earthquake in Haiti happened, and he felt like he was thrust into the hero role there as well. He said that the Haitian and HRG were on opposite sides this time around. He said that his character will speak more in this season of the show, but that he’ll remain mysterious.
- Zabrowski’s character Quentin is part of the prequel webisodes, where we learn that his sister is an Evo who can control light and shadow. Something happens to her and he contacts HRG, pulling him out of his memory-wiped life. He calls his character a conspiracy theorist. “Immediately there are people who cannot be held by our prisons, or armies … we’re all kind of in the middle of this. I’m kind of like an offshoot, kind of like a thing. I’ve been researching conspiracies. Now there is this world of Evos, right? Then you realize that all of the conspiracies are real.”
- Guzman told us that he loves the evolution of his character. In the beginning he’s very self-deprecating and he has a lot of issues about who he wants to be and where he wants to be in his life. He’s presented with this massive opportunity and he can hit the ground running and make something or continue to do what he’s doing and continue to drown his sorrows.” He said he loves the ride.
Shekoni talked about how her character’s son was killed in the unnamed event and she’s pretty much gone crazy. She said that her favorite thing about her character was guns and that she actually spent the day at a firing range right before her audition. She told us that she had to connect with anger, which isn’t an easy thing to jump into for an actor.
- Bruce told us that his character is so under wraps that he can’t even reveal his name. He said, “What I’ve been approved to tell you is he’s a survivalist in a time of a lot of social inequalities and he uses that for profit. Being a survivalist as well, he sometimes might not do the most moral of things. If he had a closet, it would be full of skeletons. He’s got a back story that is so interesting.”
- Oka told us that he’s only in three episodes and he’s finished shooting. He joked about his weapons being “Darth Maul style” and said he loved being back on the show. He talked about how he was originally supposed to do more episodes but his other show prevented that.
Oka said that there were going to be a lot of Easter eggs for fans and that we should watch carefully if we’re fans of the show.
- Coleman said that HRG was probably his favorite role ever. “He’s this sort of scary grey bureaucratic presence and we don’t know what he’s up to. He’s a loving father. He’s a badass with a gun … to be able to revisit it again was really fun.
- Grunberg said he doesn’t appear for a few episodes, but working with Coleman again was like a flashback. He said he teared up when they shot. He also revealed that we’re going to see Matt Parkman doing things that fans wouldn’t expect in a million years.
Heroes Reborn will premiere on NBC on September 24.