Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta have put the pilot for their prospective post-rapture series – The Leftovers - into the hands of Friday Night Lights co-creator Peter Berg, who will direct the pilot that is expected to start filming in June.
Based on Perrotta’s novel and earmarked for HBO, The Leftovers will focus on the town of Mapleton as the residents cope with both the absence of several of their citizens and family members and the notion that they were not good enough to ascend during what is called the “Sudden Departure” in Perrotta’s novel.
The Leftovers will be Berg’s second directing gig of this pilot season. His Film 44 imprint is behind Bloodlines, an NBC drama pilot with Tom Everett Scott and Breaking Bad alum Jonathan Banks, which Berg is expected to direct and produce. There is no word on if Berg will have a larger behind the scenes role should the concept make it to series. The Leftovers will be produced by Ron Yerxa, Albert Berger, Lindelof, and Perrotta, with the latter two collaborating on the pilot script.
HBO has been working with Perrotta (who got an Oscar nomination for adapting his novel, Little Children, back in 2006) on an adaptation of The Leftovers since before the book went to market in August of 2011. Lindelof came aboard the project in June of last year after his development deal with ABC expired. He is expected to serve as showrunner.
This is the first TV work that the former Lost co-showrunner has taken on, though he has kept himself busy with scripting duties on Prometheus, Star Trek into Darkness and Brad Bird’s upcoming mystery project, Tomorrowland. Back in June, Lindelof said that the appeal of The Leftovers came from the certain existence of a God or other like power in that world, telling Vulture:
“You can’t be an atheist anymore. It takes us back in time to a place in human history where everyone’s lives were dictated by the gods of Olympus or the gods of the heavens. [The book] tries to explain the purpose of it all, and that lined up with the meta level of ‘Lost.’ “
Though, this new show may draw comparisons to Lost due to the presence of am overarching mystery, CBS’ summer series Under the Dome and AMC’s The Walking Dead seem like more obvious comparisons due to the former’s small town setting and the latter’s focus on a small band of survivors vs. the apocalypse.
With that said, Lindelof has already indicated that the novel is a jumping off point, saying that the book “probably only has enough content for two or three episodes.” So who knows what The Leftovers will look like when and if it makes it to air?
Stay tuned for more updates on The Leftovers.