SDCC ’09: Preview Screening of ABC’s ‘Flash Forward’

Published 5 years ago by

flashforward logo SDCC 09: Preview Screening of ABCs Flash Forward

Screen Rant‘s resident TV expert Bruce Simmons has been keeping our readers updated on ABC’s forthcoming new series Flash Foward, which is being written/directed by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), produced by Marc Guggenheim (co-writer of The Green Lantern) and executive produced by Brannon Braga (Star Trek Voyager, Enterprise, 24).

FlashForward had a panel at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International, where the pilot episode was screened. Afterwards, the cast and show creators let us know what we can expect from the upcoming season, what the creative path of the show has been, and they even debuted a previously unannounced cast member who had the crowd on their feet and cheering.

(And be sure to read to the end for quotes on Batman 3, The Green Lantern, and upcoming Star Trek projects.)

For those who haven’t yet heard about Flash Forward, check out this synopsis from our own Bruce Simmons:

Flash Forward is about a moment in time when the entire population of Earth blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds and during that short span of time, they get a glimpse into their future 6 months from that moment.

Though the show is based on the book of the same name by Robert J. Sawyer, and if you’ve read the book, you might be thinking you know where the story is headed.  You may want to rethink your assumptions.

And Brucey-B was right on the money: Goyer and Co. are definitely taking a different direction with this show (though Sawyer still acts as a consultant of sorts). One big difference: in Sawyer’s book, the people waking up from “the black out” event see visions of their future some two decades down the line. For the purposes of Tv drama, Goyer and Co. have scaled the visions back to 6 months in the future, April 29th, when SOMETHING big is supposed to go down. Ironically enough, April 29, 2010 will also be the air date of one of the 1st season’s major episodes.

But before we get into all these fine details – how was the show itself?

We only got to see 2/3 of the pilot episode, but the show is definitely something to be excited about for the fall season. It’s kind of like a Lost/24 mashup – which is not surprising since there of the show’s three creators one is a die hard Lost fan (Goyer) and another is a producer on 24.

The pilot episode (as much as we saw) introduced us to FBI Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes from Shakespeare In Love), a loving father and husband. On the day of “the black out” Agent Benford and his partner Agent Witten (John Cho) are in hot pursuit of suspected terrorists; when they wake from the black out, Benford’s “Flash Forward” is of a future where he has been investigating the cause of the worldwide black out, and is seemingly on the verge of a major discovery when he is ambushed by men with big guns. His partner, Witten, on the other hand, sees nothing in his future at all. Yikes.

Most of the pilot we see were epic disaster scenes of the black out event. And for a Tv show, I gotta say, the scale of the destruction and the special f/x involved were all pretty impressive.

As was the cast for the show. You have Fiennes and Cho (both good guys); Courtney B. Vance of Law & Order fame; and Sonya Walger (Penny from Lost) as Benford’s wife, Olivia. Everybody handled their roles well and there was no discnerable slouch in the cast.

Speaking of the cast, I promised you a previously unannounced addition: Lost‘s Dominic Monaghan! When “Charlie” himself was brought out at the very end of the panel the crowd went NUTS. Unfortunately with the time running short, all Monaghan was able to reveal was that his character is named “Simon” and that he is a “game-changing character.” Goyer added that Monaghan playing Simon was planned from the beginning.

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flashforward promo00 SDCC 09: Preview Screening of ABCs Flash Forward

Speaking of plans, with a show like Flash Forward, which begins as a wild mystery, there is always the risk that the story will get *ahem* LOST in its own mythos. Not the case here, assures David S. Goyer:

“I love Lost, seen every episode…Bottom line, Lost was a genre-breaking show..We pitched ABC an extensive plan initially…they said in a post-Lost world this is a great script, but do you know where the hell it all goes?

The story has been fully plotted…so all the flash forwards have been figured out and all the clues have been already embedded.”

That’s good to hear, but what happens if new writers come on board? Well, it’s not an immediate worry, as Goyer revealed he has committed to write the series all the way through the end of the first season. Cool Beans. We can also expect to see all kinds of clever renderings of the trippy flash-forward visions – one of which will even be rendered in claymation (you heard right)!

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BATMAN 3, THE GREEN LANTERN & STAR TREK TALK

Congrats to you who have read this far!

You can’t have a panel with Goyer, Guggenheim and Braga in one place without there being questions about the next Batman film, the upcoming Green Lantern movie and the future of the Star Trek franchise. The moderator of the panel decided to get all of those questions out of the way up front, and here were the responses:

David S. Goyer on Batman 3: “There is ‘Bat Musing’ currently happening.” (Sneaky, sneaky, David! We already know the next Bats film is suppossed to start filming next year!)

Marc Guggenheim on The Green Lantern: “Green Lantern will start filming in January in Australia.”

Brannon Braga on future Star Trek Tv series: “In my opinion we’ll ABSOLUTELY see Star Trek on Tv again.”

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So that’s it. Be sure to check out Flash Forward when it airs on September, 24 @ 8pm on ABC. Check it out.

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  1. Adding Dominic to their cast was the best decision ever. What a nice surprise. I hope the show is going to be a big success. Can’t wait to see it!

  2. Having not read the books, I wonder how the episodes will break down. Will it focus on the main characters’ own blackouts, or will there be a new person’s blackout explored every episode? I.e., are we going to have a long story that is presented in chapters, like Lost, 24, or many of HBO’s shows, or are we going to have something more episodic, like Law and Order or Numbers. Will the blackouts ever be explained, or, like Lost, will some questions get answered while even more questions are brought up? Even though David Goyer says that it won’t, you can never tell what will happen when other writers and produces get their input.

    Goyer’s presence is certainly something that bodes well for this show in an industry where most hour-long dramas (see Dollhouse, Mantis) fail horribly.

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