Still over a year out from its Netflix debut, the Lost In Space reboot has already been building major buzz—an impressive feat considering its rocky return to the small screen. The series initially ran during the back half of the ‘60s, but failed to catch the momentum of some of its sci-fi peers. There have been several attempts to revive it since its 1998 film remake flopped, and a John Woo-directed pilot from 2003 similarly fell flat.
The show was put on the backburner until Netflix announced a 10-episode season in June, and production news soon began streaming in. Zack Estrin (Prison Break, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland) has taken the reins as showrunner, and Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (The Last Witch Hunter, Gods of Egypt) are helming the script.
Casting news, too, has heated up in recent months, and now reports are trickling in about another addition to the team. Deadline revealed on Tuesday that Parker Posey has signed on as Dr. Smith, the nefarious flight surgeon who sabotages the Robinson family’s Jupiter 2 mission and gets them lost in space, setting the premise for the show. The announcement puts Posey alongside House of Cards vet Molly Parker as Dr. Maureen Robinson, Black Sails star Toby Stephens as Professor John Robinson and Falling Skies actress Taylor Russell as their eldest daughter, Judy.
The move marks a gender shake-up for the character, who was played by Jonathan Harris in the 1965 series and Gary Oldman in the late ‘90s movie adaption. It also widens the project’s growing investment in underutilized talent. Posey made a name for herself in ‘90s indie flicks, but has since picked up predominantly supporting roles. She most recently appeared in Woody Allen’s Café Society and Netflix mockumentary Mascots.
Thus far, Lost In Space seems to be following a forward-thinking approach. Russell’s ambiguous ethnicity paints the Robinsons as a multiracial or adoptive family, and the Dr. Smith gender switch points to a broader push for diversity. It’s refreshing that producers aren’t only repurposing the series, but making an effort to modernize it. Little is known about Lost In Space’s updated direction aside from its focus on “family entertainment,” so it will be interesting to see whether Posey’s casting was a reflection on new development for the character or simply an artistic choice. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to see her tackling such a wide array of roles.
Lost In Space is slated to premiere on Netflix in 2018.