Paramount held a red carpet event for the DVD/Blu-ray release at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles this week. While shivering in the cold, we managed to grab a few moments with a scarf-wrapped Damon Lindelof, producer of the series reboot and writer/producer of a little show called . Heard of it? We got some interesting, yet sad news. It's looking like we're going to have to wait until 2012 to see our favorite space aces return to the big screen! Sigh. Lindelof also talked about what he's doing to prepare for the next installment and gave up a little info about the final season of . They're going to keep the previews to a minimum, they're going to answer our questions (except for the stupid ones) and though he hedged a bit, it seems like there will be a few returning characters. He also hinted that a feature on the season 5 Blu-ray/DVD is going to give a few hints about what we're going to see...
Newsarama: So, what's the opening sequence of ?
Damon Lindelof: [laughs] Pan in on...there's a crawl. This is what nobody is expecting. There's a crawl and it basically says, 'Years have passed. Many, many many years. So many years, that everybody's old and gray.' I'm not telling you anything about that.
Nrama: You're looking at a 2012 release now, right?
Lindelof: Is that what everyone who came before me said? Yeah, I think that we would be hard pressed to get it on screens by 2011. But if that's the case, we'd better get to writing right now.
Nrama: Any thoughts in how you're going to approach it?
Lindelof: I think we've had a lot of thought. And I think we've reached consensus on the answer to that question and we're certainly not going to share it with you. [laughs] I mean, sometimes it works great. I remember for me, how exciting it was to see the first and go, oh my god, like the first half of this movie actually took place between a few of the scenes in the last movie, and now the entire context of him being across the street from Joan Allen take on...but if they had told me that before I went and saw the movie, oh this actually takes place between the cracks of the last movie, it would have made that discovery less organic. So I think what we like to do as storytellers is drop you in the middle of something and the question you ask yourself is, 'Where am I in relation to the last time I left these guys? Could this be something, perhaps, something that pre-dated the adventures that they had in the last movie? Does it happen five years later? Is it happening two seconds later?' Who knows? We're not going to tell you.
Nrama: Now Bob (Orci) and Alex (Kurtzman) said that they were doing some research for the sequel and they were going back and reading some non-Trek sci-fi, etc. Have you been doing any research like that?
Lindelof: Um, I think that I don't call it research, but I expose myself to movies that are not particularly in the Trek-verse...one of the things I'm really doing is watching a lot of sequels that I happen to hold in high esteem.
Nrama: Can you name some?
Lindelof: Sequels that I love? I think is one of the greatest sequels ever. And , the original, is a cool sequel, because it's actually not a sequel of . But I think the idea of saying that people come to expect something from a sequel to a movie like this, which is, it's going to be bigger, badder, louder, more bad guys...and I think the idea of saying, 'Do we have to do that? Is there something else that we can do that's a little bit off the beaten path?' I don't even know if this thing is going to be called or whether it's going to be or whatever, but the idea of saying, when you buy your ticket and your popcorn and sit and watch the second movie that we're all working on together, we want to give the audience an experience that feels like it's not a sequel. In all the best ways.
Nrama: Are you in the home stretch of right now?
Lindelof: It doesn't quite feel like the home...in the grand scheme of things, we have nine more episodes to write, having written a hundred and, you know, ten episodes at this point, it's relatively the home stretch, but it feels like we're in the weeds as they say in the TV business.
Nrama: Is it true that they're not going to show any previews before the season starts?
Lindelof: That is the marketing strategy that we are trying to impose upon our masters. Well, I can't unequivocally say that we'll be able to hold the embargo up until the actual premiere, but it's pretty cool that we're not showing anything as late as November, so we'll see...I think once the show starts, once we're back on, then we'll start showing people what we're up to, but I think even a single scene from the show would tip what it is we're doing this year. What it is we're doing this year is different from what we've done in other years.
Nrama: You've said you're done with time travel. The whole season of and , you're done with time travel.
Lindelof: I was just being cranky. [laughs] No, between and , you know, the amount of times that I said, 'paradox' in a given day was way more than anybody should ever say, 'paradox' in a given day. So I think that, wouldn't be if the idea of time travel, and by that I mean, the show jumps around in time, it's non-linear story telling, you kind of have to do flashes of light and dropping into World War II...that stuff we did in season five, and it was a lot of fun. And thank god we got out without causing any major paradoxes.
One of the great things about the last season of the show is that a lot of the writers are beginning to feel the way that we felt in season one. The idea of we're kind of returning to the same kind of storytelling that kind of put us on the map in the first place, and resolving some of these mysteries that people have been...this has got to be a record for how much patience people have. But the idea that we're trying to answer some of these questions, you know, create this incredible nostalgia, especially when you're doing it through the characters. And the actors who were there in the very beginning. So it's pretty cool. Theoretically.
Nrama: You talked about resolving mysteries. Will one or two remain unresolved for people to debate ever after?
Lindelof: I think that there are some mysteries that we're not even aware are mysteries. That's the thing. People ask us questions and I'm like, 'What are you talking about?' Like, 'Are we ever going to find out who murdered Scott?' And I was like, 'Ethan murdered him.' And they're like, 'Well, but he?' I'm like, 'Yes! Yes he did!' So for the mysteries that we acknowledge as mysteries, they will be answered. But then there are mysteries that should never be solved. Then there are things like the midichlorian issue, which is essentially, was anyone really saying, 'How does the Force work?' You know? We just sort of accepted that it works. So I think that there are some mysteries like, 'Why is the island and island?' that aren't mysteries to me, because that's what it is.
Nrama: Now I've been told to ask you about something on the Season 5 Blu-ray called, “Lost University”.
Lindelof: Our guys have cooked up, I think, a really cool course. There are certain areas, like Physics, where you can really educate yourself looking at the show and prepare yourself for what's to come. We've always looked at as a potentially collegiate experience, which is to say, if you want to get your masters degree backwards and forwards...but you can just sort of like, cruise through and get your B.A. And I think people are now starting their own fraternities and sororities in but once you get the DVD and go online and you sign up for some courses, hopefully the show will make a little more sense than it does now. We acknowledge that it's not the easiest thing to watch in the world.
Nrama: So there will be some hints about the next season in there?
Lindelof: In “Lost University”? Hints...I think there will be sort of a, 'You might want to go back and review this.' It's sort of like when a teacher tells you, 'There might be a pop quiz tomorrow, and if there is, you might want to read chapters nine, ten and twelve.' It's going to be that kind of experience, I hope.
is available on DVD/Blu-ray now.