Netflix’s Lost in Space Producers Talk New Series and More at Wondercon: Anaheim

Producers discuss decision to partner with Netflix over FOX

The streaming giant’s first journey into space has been released in an trailer for its re-imagined original series based on the 1960’s CBS television classic Lost in Space, set to premiere on Netflix next Friday, April 13.

The series features 10-episodes, set 30 years in the future. And like the original, the series strives to focus on surviving in unfamiliar space frontiers and worlds of the unknown when after crash-landing on an alien planet, the Robinson family must fight against all odds to survive and escape. However, the family finds themselves surrounded by hidden dangers throughout the season that they must defeat together.

The Netflix original has the same characters as the ’60’s show however, with minor gender-changes. Dr. Smith, a male main character in the original, is played by Parker Posey. Black Sails’s Toby Stephens stars as John Robinson alongside Molly Parker of House of Cards as his wife, Maureen. The three children are played by Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall and Max Jenkins, who plays Will Robinson. Russell stars as Judy Robinson, Maureen’s biracial daughter from a previous marriage. The middle-child who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind, Penny Robinson, is played by Sundwall.

An exclusive viewing of episode one of the series was premiered at this past Wondercon late March at the Anaheim Convention Center where MUSE had the opportunity to sit down with the entire cast, producers and screenwriters to discuss the series. Former President and Chief Creative Officer of Legendary Entertainment Jon Jashni, shared the decision process behind bringing the series to online-streaming versus big network television programming.

“We both saw the opportunity to take today’s technology, the resources of a platform like Netflix, which they are the ultimate patron, and the ability to build what is in effect a 10-hour hundred million dollar movie, where the arc can be carefully plotted and built overtime as opposed to what we’ve traditionally had to deal with in the television business which is “We hope they order something from the pilot,” rather, “We hope they order the pilot,” and then “We hope they make something beyond the pilot,” Jashni said in an interview.

“And then maybe they give you four more but it feels more lurching in it’s development. And this gave us an opportunity to play chess, not checkers,” he concluded as his reason to bring the program to Netflix.

Television and film producer, director and screenwriter, Kevin Burns, noted Jashni’s expert ability at realizing iconic characters, specifically mentioning films like King Kong, Jurassic Park, Godzilla and many others produced at Legendary under his direction. He also praised about how instrumental Jashni was in creating the right team to make the series come together as successfully as it has.

“I’ll say this much, Fox Network really really wanted it and the guy who in charge of the network is a good friend of ours and I’ve known him for a long time and he literally bought it in the room. And he begged for it. I mean he said to me, “You and Jon nailed it! I’ve been friends with you and Jon a long time and that was the best pitch I’ve heard. You totally nailed this. I want it,” said Burns.

He then explained to the executive that the network would only be able provide a script, to a pilot, to a series, and maybe the series would stay on the the air for a few weeks, which the executive argued would still result in a bigger payout than its online-based competitor regardless of how long the series was actually in rotation. For Burns and all those involved however, it wasn’t about the payout necessarily but instead it was about the want to recreate the classic show and allowing people to see it.

“It’s a 10-hour story and the characters all change and grow and merge. And I have to say, as good as the first one is, it gets better and better and by the time you’re done with episode one, you’re breathless and you cannot wait to see more,” said Burns.

Listen below for the full audio interview with Jon Jashni, Kevin Burns and Max Jenkins. Lost in Space premieres globally on Netflix April 13.




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Asia Woodley

Asia is a entertainment host and reporter for MUSE. She also co-hosts The Cali Kickback on DASH Comedy Radio based out of West Hollywood. More recently, she starred on season 7 of MTV's Are You The One while graduating with a Bachelor's in Communications from California State University of Fullerton. Asia is especially passionate about on-air broadcast reporting, entertainment culture and sports. However, she also possesses strong writing and news reporting skills in both print and online media platforms. She also has mild experience in photography. Asia is located in the Inland Empire/LA area.

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