With ABC's hit mystery-drama Lost coming to its long-awaited conclusion in May - kicking off with the two-hour season premiere at the start of February - it's no surprise that there are plans to carry the franchise on long after that. But what I didn't see coming was any sort of new TV series or a feature film version, simply because Lost writers and exec producers, Damon Lindelof (who's also the co-creator) and Carlton Cuse, have said that once season 6 ends then it's over with.
However, you can't put anything past studios looking to cash in as much as they can on such a lucrative property - it looks like ABC is planning more for Lost within the land of TV and even movies.
The news comes from Variety (special thanks to io9 for pointing us to it), which lets us in on the plans for the continuation of Lost in many different forms. Initially, this will be more comic books, games and novelizations, as well as special edition and re-cut editions of the six seasons. Heck, even a Lost theme park attraction at Disneyland is already being petitioned for (word is it's actually in the works for real). But further down the line we could be looking at a new TV series and even movies of Lost, which means a new cast and all that - in other words, "Lost: The Next Generation."
This isn't just all speculation as Variety quotes ABC marketing exec VP, Mike Benson, on the situation:
"We've been talking about this for a couple of years now... We want to keep it alive but make sure we maintain the integrity of the franchise. We're not about milking this thing for all that it is right now; it's important to see this live for years to come."
I'm not sure about that part about them not wanting to milk it. After all, we were promised a definitive end date back in late season 2/early season 3 when Lindelof and Cuse fought hard to acquire it. Now it appears ABC don't want to let such a money-spinner fade off into the sunset.
Lindelof and Cuse most likely won't be involved in any way with a continuation of Lost, and they would like their work to stand very much on its own. Lindelof has said - "People deserve an ending, and to promise a continuation of the story in any form in some way negates the finality in some way." I have to agree with him on that one.
If ABC goes ahead with what they appear to be seriously considering then they'll have to find new people to take over as the creative force and to me that sets alarm bells off. No one knows Lost like the people who have been involved in it on the creative side for six years, so bringing in someone new could be a big mistake. The only option I can think of there is getting Jack Bender or Stephen Williams (two major recurring directors/exec producers on the show over the years) to step up to the plate and take over. However, I suspect they'll be of the same mind as Lindelof and Cuse. Benson says that whatever Lost becomes after season six is up in the air at this point, and it depends on whoever comes in next to interpret it.
However, that's not to say that ABC wouldn't love it if Lindelof and Cuse stuck around, as marketing VP, Marla Provencio explains:
"Damon and Carlton laid such groundwork, it's going to be a challenge for us, and we have to rise to the occasion... We have to find different, creative and innovative ways to keep the fans happy and to keep the franchise healthy."
"It's been such an amazing collaboration... Most of the time we were not just creating promos, we were creating content that surrounded the program. It helped define who we are today as TV marketers."