YouTube Red is finally giving us a first look at their original series, Impulse, created by Doug Liman and loosely based on the third book in Steven Gould's Jumper series. Liman brought Jumper to the big screen in 2008's movie by the same name, but the film - which focused on a group of people and their ability to teleport - was widely panned. Its star, Hayden Christensen, in one of his first major roles since that of Anakin Skywalker, was also criticized for giving a less than stellar performance in the movie.
YouTube Red has teamed up with Universal Cable Productions and Hypnotic to bring the hour long drama series to life. YouTube Red, a subscription service that allows viewers to watch original programming without the advertising, is making a big push this summer with shows like Impulse and the Karate Kid spinoff series Cobra Kai. Impulse focuses on a rebellious 16 year old girl named Henry Coles, played by Maddie Hasson, who has always felt she was different from her peers. Growing up in a small town, Henry's hunch proves correct when she discovers she can teleport.
In the teaser trailer, which can simply be described as very intense, we're introduced to Henry and told that a traumatic encounter with a classmate has triggered something in the teen. According to Deadline, that encounter is an attempted sexual assault on Henry which causes her to teleport for the first time. The teleportation has major effects on both Henry and her would be rapist, effects that Henry struggles to control. Showrunner Lauren LeFranc also told Deadline that the assault would play a major role in Henry's newfound power. “It was important to link teleportation with the assault because those two happened in the same moment,” she said. Set to a slowed down and darker cover of Blondie's 'Heart of Glass', we're shown how Henry feels like an outsider in her small town, and how she feels ostracized from her peers.
The trailer also hints that there's someone who will help Henry figure out how to control her new teleportation powers - as we can hear a woman's voiceover saying "I know what it feels like to be the new girl in town," before touching on Henry's need to control her power as she says "You have to find other outlets." It's clear this is going to be a series that will explore a darkness and an edge we don't often see in coming of age stories, and even in stories where the protagonist discovers they have a hidden super power. Henry has a secret that she's struggling to control and understand all while trying to figure out who she can trust.
Liman previously told us that he was excited to create Impulse because he was unhappy with how Jumper turned out, and this was his opportunity to get it right. “I always felt like with Jumper I had a contrarian idea that I started exploring but I just didn’t get it right, and unlike my other films where I maybe don’t get something right but I go back and reshoot and so I get it right, that film just got released," he said. "And so I’ve always had to gnawing at me that I want to do a superhero story and I want to get it right. When I had the option to tackle the Jumper sequel, Impulse, I started looking and I said this is my chance to get it right.”
Lucky fans attending WonderCon this weekend will be treated to a sneak peek of Impulse in the form of several clips and a panel discussion, which will take place on Saturday, March 24 from 5-6:00 pm. The panel will feature Liman, LeFranc, and executive producer Gene Klein, as well as actors Hasson, Missi Pyle, and Daniel Maslany.
Impulse is scheduled to debut this summer on YouTube Red.
Source: YouTube, Deadline