Writer/producer Damon Lindelof isn’t known for backing down from a challenge, be it trying to weave together the convoluted mythology on Lost, pontificating on the nature of creation in Prometheus, or re-introducing an iconic Star Trek villain in Star Trek Into Darkness.
His next trick? A series about the Rapture titled The Leftovers, based on the popular award-winning novel written by Tom Perrotta (author of such books-turned film adaptations as Election and Little Children). The first teaser trailer released for HBO’s Leftovers TV show (created by Lindelof) hints at how the remaining people on Earth respond in different ways, after millions of their fellow humans from around the world vanish simultaneously.
The second Leftovers teaser (see above) is more on the nose, revealing that although a number of the folk left behind seek to deal with their pain and suffering through peaceful, loving means, others throw their hands in the air and turn to violence and/or purely self-serving behavior. Of course, neither trailer sheds much light on whether or not Lindelof’s show will probe questions about where, exactly, all the others have disappeared to.
So far, though, the Rapture element seems to be closer to a MacGuffin than, say, the foundation for the unifying central story thread of The Leftovers. Lindelof, as a storyteller, tends to be more interested in examining the way that characters are affected by mysterious phenomena and the philosophical dilemmas they must confront as a result – as opposed to the driving forces behind said changes – so we expect that to also be the case with his HBO program.
In truth, Leftovers feels more on the level with the Under the Dome TV series than a Lindelof show like Lost, as far as how the former shows use fantastical circumstances to tell more relatable human stories. Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) is directing the pilot, which just adds more intrigue around the question of how people will respond to this Lindelof project (compared to the love/hate reactions that his previous work has often drawn).
The Leftovers premieres on HBO on June 15th, 2014.