Comic-Con: Highlights from the Lucifer Press Roundtables
I love Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, but I guess I’m a bad fan in that I haven’t read any of his other works. However, when I heard that Warner Brothers was hosting press roundtables for the new show Lucifer, which is [loosely] based on some of Neil Gaiman’s work, I figured ‘what the hell’ (pardon the pun), and RSVP’d for them.
In the end I was glad to have this opportunity, because much of what I heard made me very interested in watching Lucifer when it airs. Following are some of the best quotes from the roundtables…at least in my opinion.
On adapting the story from the source material (Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman)
Tom Ellis (Lucifer Morningstar):
“We get asked a lot, ‘is it going to be literal translation of these comics’…no, is the answer to that question. It’s used as a starting point for us, and…inspired by.”
Ildy Modrovich (Executive Producer):
“He [Neil Gaiman] is really excited that we’re doing something completely different. Because sometimes when you try to…to really really, you know, almost imitate something, you can fall into all kinds of…you can really disappoint people that way sometimes. And so he’s excited that we are inspired by the characters, and I think we have at the heart of it kind of what he did in the comic books, which is irreverence. The mythology we don’t have, but it’s as if we…we like to think of it as something that would take place between Sandman and Lucifer. Like he came to Earth, and this is our story, and it’s all grounded, it’s all on the Earth, and all the other crazy…mythological stuff is going to happen later.”
On the writing and the future of the show
“We’re at about episode seven in terms of writing. We’re about halfway through figuring out what we’re going to do for this first season.”
“I came on right before the pilot shot to do rewrites and…and I was there for the shoot and…in the editing room and…and now I’m one of the, the writers on the show. One of the head writers. We all…work together. It’s an amazing team, actually. I haven’t been on a show that’s been so team-oriented. Often there’s one person kind of dominating a bit. We’re very – Joe and I…Joe Henderson, the other executive producing writer, we…just love the best idea, it’s all about the best idea. Doesn’t matter where it comes from. And we all love the show, it’s…it’s truly thought-provoking. It’s funny, it’s a lark, but it’s thought provoking, too. And hopefully it’s exploring, you know, the gray areas of life, and that’s what I think I love about it.”
Joe Henderson (Executive Producer):
“The reason I took the job is because the pilot was so good. And my challenge, and the fun is, how do we replicate that over and over again? It’s just…the cast is great, the show works, it’s fun and funny and it’s a mix of genres…that I don’t think is really on TV right now.”
“We do have a loose season one arc that we’ve figured out. We have plans for future seasons. But I firmly believe in the idea that it’s…your battle plan survives until the first shot of war. Because the minute things start happening, things start changing, you find better things…We have places to go, but they aren’t necessarily places we have to go. But we definitely know where season one is headed.”
“As of right now we are operating with the idea that our cameras are on Earth. We don’t…if they go to Hell, if any characters go to Hell or Heaven, we don’t follow them. They come back, but our show exists on the Earthly plane. We won’t be following them. We won’t see that.”
Jonathan Littman (Executive Producer):
“We’re getting thirteen. It’s been picked up for…midseason, for the back half. Fully ordered…it’s January or sooner…we’ve been told to be ready…to get on the air…they always want you ready as fast as you can, just in case…but…I personally would like to come on when we’re scheduled to come on, which is in January, right after the X-Files launch.”
“The biggest challenge was being able to balance the humor, the genre, and a light mystery, and having all three of those work all at once was probably the biggest concern.”
Len Wiseman (Director):
“I hope that it…actually stays within its balance, I guess I’d say…of kind of twisted, dark comedy with, I would say, kind of a hidden heart underneath it. And that…that starting to see the devil as somebody you could almost, almost sympathize with. Maybe…he got a bad start to the whole thing so many billion years ago…Even the devil is looking for a certain level of redemption.”
On the character of Lucifer
“You know, I could say that Lucifer…this whole thing is…he wants to study humanity, and in studying humanity, he’s kind of fascinated about it, he’s starting to become more human. And the question will be, you know, is he on Earth because he chose to be there, or is it fated? And is God his father giving him another chance, in a way. That’s as esoteric and vague as I can be and still give you a little something.”
Lauren German (Chloe Dancer):
“There’s actually a lot of good elements to his character in the pilot…he’s not a bad guy…Creepy name, kind of a creepy guy, but lovable.”
“He’s having fun…he’s at a point where, ‘I’m bored of Hell, I’ve done that, I quit, I don’t want the job anymore’ and…he’s here to have fun. And while he’s having fun he’s also interacting with humans in a way he’s never interacted before, and starts to see things that challenge him, interest him. It’s really from a selfish point of view, but ultimately causes a bit of conflict that leads to him having to deal with his own therapy sessions as well.”
“If you’ve quit Hell and you’ve gone to Earth, and you still feel connected to punishment, then ultimately…why do you want that person to be punished. Does that mean you care about…the victim? ‘No, I don’t.’ Okay, so…he’s confused about it. Because he knows punishment, and he’s fueled by that, but on Earth now it’s a whole different game. So he’s got issues, he’s trying to figure them out.”
“This is the interesting thing, and this is why he checks into therapy at the end of the pilot, because he’s like, having this existential crisis of going, ‘I’ve kind of got these funny things…feelings, or emotions, or something’, and he can’t work it out…I think that’s where the fun is to be had, this kind of humanization, this redemption of this character that we all think is intrinsically evil.”
“The supernatural stuff…One thing I really liked about it is that we didn’t rely too much on the supernatural element…this character…he’s kinda a character, and…the fun is that he’s not relying on these kind of supernatural powers. His powers are quite innocuous, really. He’s..very good at it.”
“Lucifer is used to being worshiped. He’s worshiped in hell, He’s worshiped in LA, here’s a woman who doesn’t worship him.”
“I think any pair of people that have let level of chemistry, we’re going to play with it. What I think is much more interesting is…less about love and more about actually caring about someone. Like to me what’s so interesting is, he sees her as a person worthy of his affection, and I almost want to get to care before I get to love, because it’s such a deeper relationship, and I like the fact that that’s what intrigues him more than anything…I think he wants to turn it into lust…it’s like, ‘if I sleep with her, then that takes care of it’…no, it’s much more complicated than that! Why? Why is it much more complicated than that? And that’s, I think, again a question that a lot of guys often deal with, just not in this elevated sort of way…so I think that should be one of the questions of the series.”
“My character’s just an average, kinda, hardworking girl who ends up meeting someone who’s pretty crazy, which is Lucifer…What happens is, Lucifer’s best human friend ends up getting shot and killed, so I get called as the detective to the crime scene and obviously he’s there and very upset about it. And at first I find him to be really off-putting, annoying, abrasive, creepy…he’s like flirty and annoying and I’m like ‘look, I have a job to do, go away, like, who are you?’ But there’s something to him at first…I mean he does have really great instincts. It’s like ‘wait how did he know that’…he actually knows information so I can’t completely dismiss him. And then as we go along, because of his powers…I mean I would just be an idiot not to…see that, listen to that, and be like ‘oh okay well you’re basically psychic, you can get people to tell you whatever you want, and I can’t…so that’s sort of how we hook up. And I think, Tom and I as people have so much fun together, and the characters do too…I love working with him and our banter is hysterical so I hope they keep that up.”
“I can only guess from everything we’ve seen that they at some point, you know, God willing, if our show goes a while, might tap into that. But for now we’ve only shot the pilot, we haven’t even started season one, and I’d imagine they’re gonna keep it pretty platonic for a while. But I think even that’s kind of fun to watch. You know like the, it’s there, but you can’t go there…yeah, and he’s like, such a hornball, his character, so creepy, so I’m always like ‘ick, no’. So playing that is really fun, and…hopefully it’s fun to watch. But…I don’t think they’ll be doing that anytime soon, but it will be danced around.”
“I think all of them are fun but there’s…certainly…Lauren and I really enjoy working together because of the nature of our back and forth relationship, and that is something that will continue. The idea that he’s met someone who his charms don’t work on is really perplexing to him. But yeah I kind of liken…their relationship to a bit like Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. They kind of love each other, you know they love each other, but they can’t let that go…so I have a lot of fun with that. But…the brother relationship between me and D.B. will be fun as well because I’m really enjoying winding him up.”
Lesley-Ann Brandt on her character, Mazikeen (a.k.a. Maze)
“She’s been dragged to this place where she’s not able to…be her true self, you know? And she’s in this form of like this human body that she doesn’t really want to be in. You know her character in the series has a half face and she’s demonic and then human on one side and she thinks…that’s when she’s the most beautiful. So Earth is kind of like…’yawn’.”
“…she followed her boss, her mentor, her best friend…she followed him because she knew the trouble, I think, he could get into, yeah. And we see that, we pick up the pilot where Amenadiel is coming and saying, you know, ‘our father wants you back on the job, you’ve had enough time to play and sort of take this retirement and have a vacation. But you have a job to do.’ And she knows that. So she’s the devil’s advocate, if you will.”
“Amenadiel so far, in our world, is the brother of Lucifer. He’s a warrior angel. And he has one task, and his task is to come to Earth and send Lucifer back to hell. He’s been in Los Angeles kind of hanging out and fooling around on vacation for five years, which I think in our world is probably a week, you know? But things are starting to get bad in Hell. And you know there’s that great line in there where he says, you know, ‘What do you think happens, you know, when the devil is not there to watch all these people in hell, he’s not there to guard it, you know?’…So I think he feels very righteous and feels like this mission is extremely important.”
“I know at some point Amenadiel is going to have to come into Lucifer’s world to try to manipulate him to come back…I do know that even though Maze and him don’t see eye to eye, they want the same goal.”
On the ‘secret ingredient’ of the show, or what will draw viewers in
“I think it isn’t what you would expect…there’s no horns, there are no weird tails and things like that. He’s not…I think people will appreciate that…it’s a story about a broken dude, you know, and we all like those stories, I think, because we want to feel like we can be broken, and loved, too. So I think that’s what will really speak to them – maybe they won’t know it, but just the comedy, I think they’ll like on the surface. I think it’s…funny…I think I personally love the way Lucifer, unlike other superheroes, doesn’t try to hide it…and people just, they don’t believe him, because who would believe anyone who says, ‘Hello, I’m the Devil’?”
“A guy named Tom Ellis…I would be lying if I said anything else initially. Tom is fantastic, he really is, he’s great. And the concept, the idea that we’re doing a genre show, we’re doing it completely tongue-in-cheek in a lot of ways…the character is so funny, the relationship between him and Chloe is…an odd dynamic, and his viewpoint to the world and watching him go through it…I think that’s what’s going to draw people in. They always come for the concept, but…I’m an audience member, I…stay for characters…Tom as Lucifer…just nailed it beyond belief.”
“It’s…I’ll tell you, it’s Tom, it’s Lauren, it’s Lesley-Ann…the actors are fantastic…what I read on the page, you really have to have actors that understand and also see, I guess, the same tone…that you do. So that’s crucial. But I think what really makes it different and special, and I guess different than a lot of other portrayals, is that the devil isn’t hiding in this one. And that’s very different, because we’ve always seen him try to hide in society, or has some kind of manipulation where he’s having to be hidden. And…Tom’s version of the devil…doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. ‘Ask me any questions, I’ll tell you no lies, and what are you ultimately gonna do?’ And that’s what…makes us very rare.”
Are you planning on checking out Lucifer when it airs (probably in January 2016)? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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