“Heroes,” a show about ordinary people, who discover they have extraordinary abilities, took the world by storm with its compelling first season. The critically acclaimed NBC series scored big in the ratings, as well as with the legions of fans who yearned for their heroes to “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.”
And now, as more and more hints and teases are dropped about the upcoming season two, “Heroes” looks like it’s shaping up to become an even bigger phenomenon.
Access Hollywood provides this handy “Heroes” guide to season two, with all the information known so far!
Producers and writers have already mapped out the first half of season two, and while the show is scheduled to have a full count of 24 episodes, they will most likely be divided into two distinct “volumes.”
“Volume two may not last an entire season,” series creator Tim King said in an interview for the San Diego Comic-Con. “It will pick up a few of the questions that will be left hanging in volume one… volume three will start in the middle of the season or toward the end of the season.”
He explained that dividing the story into “volumes” is a way to avoid falling into the trap of having one long, dragged out story that becomes unmanageable (as some series have been prone to in the past).
Additionally, six episodes of a spin-off called “Origins” will reportedly air in May, after the 24 main “Heroes” episodes have run their course. Series creator Tim Kring revealed at a recent press conference that the “Origins” show would feature all new characters (rather than the established ones) as an opportunity to tell the stories of other people around the world dealing with the onset of super powers.
As was teased at the very end of season one, the next volume of “Heroes” is called “Generations.” Greg Grunberg, who plays mind reader Matt Parkman on the show, explained to NBC.com what “Generations” means for season two’s storyline.
“Season two, being called ‘Generations,’ [is when] they’ll go back in our lineage,” he explained. “Why we were selected, where we got our powers, did our parents have powers?” He excitedly promised that what the writers have planned is “really interesting,” and that “cool new characters” will be introduced.
As Grunberg stated, next season will feature an expansion of the main show’s roster of characters. At least seven new additions to the cast have been announced so far!
Barry Shabaka Henley (“Four Brothers,” “Collateral,”) will play a police officer named Detective Fuller, and Holt McCallany (“CSI: Miami”) will play the ringleader of a band of Irish hooligans. Japanese actress and pop star Eriko Tamura will join the cast as a Japanese princess, while Dianna Agron will play a “princess” of a different kind — a new cheerleader character who attends the University of Southern California, Claire’s rumored new stomping grounds. Described as a “cutthroat teen,” Agron’s character may prove to be a foil of some kind for the indestructible Claire (Hayden Panettiere).
Claire was reportedly supposed to have another cheerleader acquaintance next season, to be played by actress Lyndsy Fonseca (“How I Met Your Mother”), but TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello reports that Fonseca has departed the show to take on a regular role on “Desperate Housewives.”
Whether the other cheerleader is replaced or cut from plans altogether remains to be seen, but Claire will not be a lonely cheerleader next season. Rising star Nick D’Agosto (“Cold Case,” “E.R.”) is set to play a new love interest for Claire named West, and he will reportedly have a “very cool superpower” of his own!
“Nick is one of the best young actors working today and a perfect fit for Heroes. We think Claire & West will be the couple to watch this Fall,” Dennis Hammer, “Heroes” executive producer, told Access Hollywood.
Dania Ramirez, who played AJ Soprano’s short-lived fiancÃ© Blanca on “The Sopranos,” was announced early as a character named Maya, a new hero whose powers are being kept under wraps. Ramirez revealed to reporters at a recent press conference that when we first meet her character, “she’s on the run from the cops.”
And finally, rounding out the new breed of heroes is David Anders, who will play Hiro Nakamura’s lifelong samurai idol, Takezo Kensei (he of the famous sword obtained by Hiro in season one). The actor, known for playing the villainous Brit Julian Sark on “Alias,” is blonde haired and blue eyed — not necessarily the image brought to mind when picturing a samurai warrior…but this show is known for throwing curveballs!
“Heroes’” resident psychic cop told Access Hollywood’s Laura Saltman that all is not as it may appear to be with Takezo Kensei:
“When people see how the story line unfolds they’re gonna — it’s gonna be really exciting,” said Grunberg. “Look, [the producers and writers] haven’t let anyone down yet, so it’s just gonna be more excitement.” Jack Coleman, who plays Claire’s enigmatic father (he of the horn-rimmed glasses) added with a joke: “They are aware [Anders is] not actually Japanese, so it will be probably be a story point somewhere.”
Another addition to the show’s regular cast this season is Zachary Quinto, who made a splash last season as the power-hungry villain, Sylar. As Season One ended, it appeared everyone’s favorite group of mutants might have finally thwarted Sylar’s plans for destruction once and for all, as Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) thrust his samurai sword into Sylar’s chest. A quick pan back to the scene of the attack revealed a blood trail leading from where Sylar’s body lay into the sewer, however, suggesting our villain wasn’t quite done yet.
“I do know I’m coming back,” Quinto told Laura. “You know I also think that the interesting thing about that is in what capacity, and how has the sort of landscape of this character’s world changed, and I think just because I’m coming back people probably have some specific expectations of what that means — and I look forward to shattering them, frankly.”
An interesting thing to note is that Quinto stands side-by-side with the rest of the heroes in the new cast photo from NBC. Is this an indication that Sylar may be changing his evil ways? Only time will tell! As for Quinto himself, he’ll get to show off his heroic side (and pointy ears) in the next installment of the “Star Trek” feature film franchise, in which he’ll play a young Mr. Spock!
Speaking of the cast photo, sharp eyes will note that some established characters are missing. Gone from the pictured group are Hiro’s best friend Ando (James Kyson Lee) and “phasing” hero D.L. (Leonard Roberts). Both Ando’s and D.L.‘s fates were left up in the air at the end of last season, as Hiro left Ando behind in Japan, and D.L. had been mortally wounded by a bullet from the arch-villain, Linderman (Malcolm McDowell).
Hiro had left Ando behind out of fear that he would die, following a trip five years in the future in which it was revealed that Ando had perished in the explosion they were desperately trying to stop in the present day. Since Ando ended up not being at the scene of the explosion (which ultimately occurred in the sky, away from bystanders), it’s likely that he’ll be back in some capacity. D.L., meanwhile, did get some impromptu medical attention from Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), but his ultimate fate was left hanging. Further speculation that he may not be a regular next season stems from Roberts’ absence at the last two “Heroes” press events.
As any “Heroes” fan knows, characters can pop back up at any time — just ask Santiago Cabrera, who played the future-painting hero, Isaac. Even though Isaac was brutally murdered by Sylar, Cabrera told Laura that “anything is possible.”
“You know, this season is “Generations” — all about going into the past and stuff, so there could be story lines [for Isaac]”, said Cabrera.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY TIDBITS:
Many of the cast members will embark on a “Heroes World Tour” in August, which will reportedly include stops in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Munich, Paris, London and New York. The tour is designed to promote the launch of the show overseas, as well as the Season One DVD, which will hit U.S. stores on August 28. The DVD will feature the entire 73-minute uncut version of the pilot and 50 deleted scenes!
Fans will be able to vote on the show’s Web site at NBC.com for their favorite new character in the “Origins” anthology, with the winning character getting a regular spot on the main show the following season.
A graphic novel compiling the 43 comic-book vignettes that appeared on the Heroes Web site this season will be published by DC Comics this fall. The hardcover collection will mark the first time the vignettes will appear in printed form, and will reportedly feature art from some of comics’ most acclaimed artists. Tim Sale, whose prophetic and apocalyptic paintings are often used as story devices on the show, will provide the brunt of the artwork for the book.
“Heroes” trading cards, apparel, stationery and action figures are also on the horizon, courtesy of a manufacturers such as DC, Random House, Mezco Toyz and Topps. The first wave of official “Heroes” merchandise is expected to hit stores just in time for the season two premiere on Monday, September 24.
Additionally, an interactive “Heroes” video game from Universal Pictures Digital Platforms and French game maker Ubisoft could be in stores as soon as 2008!