A new Flatliners TV spot offers the first glimpse of Kiefer Sutherland reprising his role of Nelson Wright from the original film. In just a couple more weeks, Sony's Flatliners arrives in theaters. The film continues to be promoted like a remake of the original, despite its long-since revealed status as a loose sequel. To be fair though, the connective tissue between the two Flatliners only amounts to a single character, albeit an important one: Sutherland's Nelson Wright.
As any fan of director Joel Schumacher's original 1990 Flatliners will recall, Sutherland's Wright was the driving force behind the dangerous experiments that he and a group of four other med students embarked upon. While he didn't force anyone to participate, he did become more and more crazed as his not so nice encounters with life beyond death continued to increase in horrifying intensity.
After months spent promoting Flatliners with nary a mention of Sutherland's return, Sony has finally released the first evidence of his existence within the film. A new TV spot - above - features a quick glimpse of Sutherland as Wright, in a white coat that suggests he indeed went on to recover from the events of the original and become a practicing doctor. Though his appearance is very brief, it's nice to get some confirmation that he will in fact be included in the new movie.
Now that Sutherland's presence has been confirmed, the other big question mark that remains is what exactly his character's involvement in the plot of the new Flatliners will be. His exclusion from prior marketing suggests that his role won't be a big one, but one wonders why Sony and/or director Niels Arden Oplev would ask a notable name like Sutherland to appear in the film as his original character if he wasn't going to play an important role in the story. After all, if they just wanted him to do a quick cameo, he could have just been a random doctor, he didn't have to be Nelson Wright.
Taking over for the star-studded original Flatliners quintet of Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt, Billy Baldwin, and Kevin Bacon are Ellen Page as Courtney, Diego Luna as Ray, Nina Dobrev as Marlo, James Norton as Jamie, and Kiersey Clemons as Sophia. Courtney seems to be the Nelson of this group, unwilling to abandon the experiment even after things begin to go south. It'll be interesting to see what helpful advice - if any - Nelson has to offer his young counterpart.
- Flatliners (2017) release date: Sep 29, 2017