Lost's Charlie and Penny Prepare to FlashForward

The upcoming FlashForward involves the entire world's populace blacking out for two minutes and seventeen seconds - and seeing visions of themselves in the future in the process. At a press conference for the series today, series co-creator and Executive Producer David Goyer (Batman Begins) reiterated what he's said before - To do their story justice, "we'd need at least three seasons, but it could accordion out. [Cast member] Courtney [B. Vance] says it could go to 21 seasons, but I'll be in adult diapers by then."


As to any influence ABC's other notable, large ensemble, highly serialized, mysterious show might have had, Goyer said, "Lost taught me you could do a show with a large cast and a big cinematic story" and that he also admired that the characters on Lost "Traffic a lot in shades of grey. That's something I find really interesting."


The pilot for FlashForward makes it clear that the date everyone saw was April 29th, 2010, which obviously will occur during Season 1. Noting that looming date, Goyer said, "We constantly talk about the obligation that we have towards our viewers to figure it out and know where we're going."


At Comic-Con, it was confirmed that a notable Lost alum, Dominic Monaghan, had joined the cast of FlashForward - though his character won't be introduced for a few episodes. Goyer recalled meeting with Monaghan and asking him, "What do you want to play, in an ideal world?" When Monaghan gave his answer, Goyer told him, "Interestingly enough, we have a character we're going to introduce in a few episodes that hits that sweet spot." While FlashForward has plenty of ongoing mysteries, Monaghan said it's not quite the full mindbender Lost is, noting, "It's not as sophisticated in as deeply rich mythology as Lost is."


After the panel, I spoke to Goyer's fellow Executive Producer and Showrunner, Marc Guggenheim, and asked him if he could any details on Monaghan's character, Simon, who so far the creators and actors have been rather tight-lipped about. Said Guggenheim, "He is mysterious, but that's not just a story reason – he's a mysterious figure, a mysterious kind of person."


Guggenheim added, "He's someone who's so intelligent that he has a difficult time sort of interfacing with people on a human level, because he's just so much smarter than everybody else. But one of the things that gets us is it's a really enigmatic figure, who I hope you'll want to get to know over the course of the first season.


Joseph Fiennes, who stars as FBI agent Mark Benford, said he was "Really excited by the script" to FlashForward, and that he felt they were dealing with, "Characters who have such potential to be well rounded, more than you might get in film – we're not a slave to the three act arc." He said he was especially intrigued by the complexities and conflict the characters might face, noting some of them are incredibly hopeful by what they saw in the flash forwards, while others – like his character – are frightened and concerned, but that all of them, "Could absolutely bring it about it in a self fulfilling prophecy way."


Playing Fiennes' wife, Olivia, is another familiar face to Lost fans – Sonya Walger, who plays Penny on Monaghan's old series. Her visions of the future find her seemingly happy marriage in extreme duress, as she sees herself in a situation she can't fathom. Walger noted her character's "been the rock" in her family, and is now having her "Whole sense of identity subverted. It has a profound effect on her. A ripple effect that's found at work, at home. It goes to the very core of who Olivia thinks she is."

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