[This article contains information about Heroes Reborn that may be considered a SPOILER.]
In the mid 2000s, Tim Kring's series about superpowered individuals, Heroes, quickly became a hit among critics and fans alike for its first season. As the show continued, though, its reception quickly declined and NBC canceled Heroes after season 4. However, last spring it was announced the network would bring the heroes back, in the form of a new series titled Heroes Reborn.
The upcoming show will be a mix of new and old characters, including fan favorites like Noah Bennet a.k.a. HRG (Jack Coleman) and Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), all of whom reside in a world that knows about superpowered individuals. Now, at the Television Critics Association event, Kring spoke more about Heroes Reborn, when it will pick up the story and how certain Heroes characters will come into play.
Kring revealed, via /Film, that Heroes Reborn will continue in real time, following the events of Heroes. If the show had continued on past its fourth season and lasted ten years, that tenth season would premiere in 2015. So, rather than the new series feeling like season 5 of Heroes, it will feel like season 10:
“I know that sounds a little provocative but the point is, one of the things that we talked about at the very beginning in the writers room was how we wanted every single bit of the mythology to feel as though there was a continuum from the show, and the show picks up five years later. So, ergo, it would be five seasons later and this would be season 10. That was the thinking.”
The creator went on to explain that the time jump is meant to put new and returning viewers "on equal footing," so the series can appeal to everyone rather than just longtime Heroes fans. Additionally, HRG will act as a proxy for viewers, because he'll be working to uncover what happened in the intervening years: "There are things that he doesn’t remember for various reasons that he has to go and find out."
Kring went on to speak about an event on June 13 that happens prior to the show's premiere, which is a mystery to HRG, even though it caused the death of many including his daughter, Claire (Hayden Panettiere). Claire was a focal point of Heroes; she had regenerative powers and couldn't be killed unless her brain was destroyed, so part of HRG's story will be figuring out how she died.
Claire will still have an influence over the events of Heroes Reborn, though, as Kring revealed during the TCA presentation. The final moment of Heroes (in which Claire revealed her powers to the press) will "set into motion" what happens in the new series.
Kring also spoke about how other returning Heroes characters will fit into Heroes Reborn. For starters, Angela Petrelli's (Christine Rose) prophecies and Hiro's time travel will be utilized throughout the story. Additionally, even though he won't appear until midway through the season, Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) will be a major presence. However, one character that will not be returning is Sylar (Zachary Quinto) and, as a result, Kring said that the character would not be mentioned in Heroes Reborn.
As for the Heroes Reborn premiere, NBC will debut the first two episodes of the season, 'Awakening' and 'Odessa,' together for a two-hour premiere. However, before Heroes Reborn kicks off on NBC on September 24, the first two episodes will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival. This screening will act as the show's world premiere, and fans who can't attend may look forward to early reactions hitting the Internet soon after.
With so many new cast members joining for Heroes Reborn - including Zachary Levi (Chuck), Robbie Kay (Once Upon a Time), newcomer Kiki Sukezane, and Ryan Guzman (The Boy Next Door) - it was unclear at first how much the new series would draw from the original series. However, given Kring's comments, fans of the original show should expect plenty of returning faces who aren't appearing simply for an unnecessary cameo, but will have an integral role in the series' story.
Of course, viewers that saw how Heroes declined after its first season may still be hesitant about Heroes Reborn. In order to assuage fears, Kring suggested the original show was hurt by its longer seasons, and that the 13-episode Heroes Reborn will have a tighter story arc. If that's the case, fans will hopefully see a return to the critically-acclaimed storytelling of Heroes season 1.
That being said, the time jump between Heroes and Heroes Reborn seems as though it will give the show enough of a reset that Kring may be able to reignite fan interest to the level it was at after season 1 of the original series. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but we should know soon enough, as Heroes Reborn is little more than a month away from premiering.
Heroes Reborn premieres September 24th, 2015 at 8/7c on NBC.