The hopes of classic science fiction fans have been buoyed of late with word that Netflix's upcoming remake of Lost in Space was beginning to put its cast in place, and now, the series has found its lead. The brand may have taken some memorable (or completely forgettable) blows in the past, but the latest news comes as good news to not only the fans hoping to see an accomplished actor take on the role of astrophysicist/explorer John Robinson, but those eager to see what lay ahead for the lead of one fan-favorite Starz drama.
It's now being reported that actor Toby Stephens, best known to fans of the network's pirate drama Black Sails has been attached to play the patriarch of the spacefaring Robinsons. Also joining the series is actor Maxwell Jenkins (Sense8) as his youngest and ever-in-danger son, Will.
The news comes courtesy of Deadline, putting at ease the concerned fans (ourselves included) hoping that Stephens' turn as the tortured 'Captain Flint' had earned him another high-profile role now that Sails has reached its fourth and final season. A leap from pirate galleons to spaceships is about as wide as you can get, but with the themes of isolation, family struggle and personal demons all fertile ground for Lost in Space, perhaps they're more similar than first appear (both will play to the Comic-Con crowd, too). Stephens and Jenkins join actress Taylor Russell (Falling Skies), already cast as Will's sister Judy Robinson.
The property will have an extra hurdle to overcome 1998's Lost in Space - a film that had its moments (Matt LeBlanc's mechanically-deploying helmet chief among them) but ultimately failed to reinvigorate the property. Regardless, the franchise rights were snatched up and developed into a Netflix Original ordered straight to a ten-episode series. So whatever writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) cooked up with showrunner Zack Estrin (Prison Break), it was convincing. Also attached to produce (among others) is director Neil Marshall, set to direct several episodes after handling films like The Descent and Doomsday and more recently episodes of Game of Thrones, Black Sails and HBO's upcoming Westworld.
The series may also mark new ground for Netflix in terms of original content, as most of their high-profile originals or adaptations have been targeted towards older audiences (Daredevil, Bloodline, Narcos, House of Cards). A Lost in Space remake following a nuclear family struggling to survive in the farthest reaches of space seems inherently a family affair, or is intended to be. It remains to be seen if this is the program to get entire families huddled together for a Netflix original (or in great enough numbers to change the game, at least). But the cast and talent being assembled makes this one for science fiction fans to watch.
What are your thoughts on the series? Does the Lost in Space formula (a family drama gets the Star Trek treatment) seem like a winner, if handled properly? Let us know in the comments.
We'll keep you updated as more news and casting for Netflix's Lost in Space reboot becomes available.