If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the fantastic French series Les Revenants (“The Returned”) should be feeling pretty good right about now. In 2013, the atypical zombie-esque series (which is available on Netflix streaming) about the dead suddenly returning to a small town ready to eat … sandwiches (it’s very dramatic, I promise) seemingly inspired ABC’s middling series Resurrection. Now, A&E is almost ready to debut its own version of the dreamy, engrossing, and super creepified series with what appears to be a shot-for-shot remake (a la Broadchurch and Gracepoint) called … The Returned.
The good news is that A&E’s The Returned, which was given a straight-to-series 10-episode order, is being executive produced by Carlton Cuse, who (since Lost) has done some really interesting things with the A&E series Bates Motel (whose third series will act as a lead-in for The Returned), as well as the batshit crazy The Strain on FX.
Reportedly, the series will also look to build its own separate mythology from that of the French series. Even for those who adored the French version (such as myself), its first season finale was polarizing. Therefore, a redo on the mythology and a new exploration of the world might be worth watching. Plus, the cast — see the press release below — is really strong (they also are styled to really strongly resemble the original cast). Hopefully it doesn’t all turn out to be a trick like with Gracepoint (the killer was different — kinda) where ultimately the remake just didn’t need to exist.
From executive producers Carlton Cuse (“Bates Motel,” “LOST”) and Raelle Tucker (“True Blood”). The show focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, bringing with them both positive and detrimental consequences. As families are reunited, the lives of those who were left behind are challenged on a physical and emotional level. Interpersonal relationships are examined with intrigue and depth as strange phenomena begin to occur. “The Returned” is based on the popular and International Emmy®-award winning French suspense series adapted by Fabrice Gobert and inspired by the feature film, Les Revenants, directed by Robin Campillo.
“The Returned” stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Smashed), Mark Pellegrino (“Lost”) , Jeremy Sisto (“Suburgator y,” “Six Feet Under”), India Ennenga (“Treme”), Sandrine Holt (“House of Cards”), Agnes Bruckner (“24”), Sophie Lowe (“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”), Tandi Wright (“Nothing Trivial“), Mat Vairo (“Revolution”), Kevin Alejandro (“True Blood”), Dylan Kingwell (“The Tomorrow People”), Aaron Douglas (“Battlestar Galactica”), Dakota Guppy (“Rush”), Leah Gibson (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Michelle Forbes (“The Killing”), Rhys Ward (“The Strain”), Scott Hylands (“V”), Terry Chen (“Bates Motel”), Roger Cross (“24”).
The Returned premieres March 9th at 10 p.m. on A&E.