In 2006 creator Tim Kring first introduced us to a group of ordinary people with extraordinary abilities in Heroes, which ran for four seasons before being canceled in 2010. Kring returns with the 13-episode reboot, Heroes Reborn (Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8pmET on NBC). The two-hour series premiere picks up several years in the future, with “EVOs” (evolved humans, or heroes) being hunted, dehumanized and mass murdered. “In the previous series when you discovered you had a power, it was almost a mystical kind of ‘What’s happening with me?’ journey of discovery,” Kring explained at Comic Con. “Now [in Reborn] if you were to wake up with a power, it would be a very, very bad thing because you would know you were going to be persecuted and exploited. It takes the basic idea of the show and cranks it up.”
Cast members making a welcome return include Jack Coleman (Noah Bennet/HRG), Masi Oka (time-traveling Hiro), Greg Grunberg (telepathic cop Matt Parkman), Sendhil Ramamurthy (geneticist Mohinder), Cristine Rose (Angela Petrelli) and Noah Gray-Cabey (Micah Sanders). Some of the newbies include Zachary Levi, Judith Shekoni, Robbie Kay, Kiki Sukezane, Ryan Guzman, Gatlin Green, Henry Zebrowski, Danika Yarosh and Rya Kihlstedt.
Coleman returns as Noah Bennet (the guy in the horn-rimmed-glasses, a.k.a. HRG), and says of his character, “He’s living more of a suburban, quiet life, off the grid, which only lasts until this wild man with a ginger beard [Zebrowski] shows up to torment me. There’s certain instances in my brain that are lacking and he’s there to fill in the gaps that I don’t necessarily want to be filled in.” One character not struggling to recall the past, as he survived a brain tumor and all that time traveling, is fan favorite Hiro (Oka), who returns with his own agenda.
Former Chuck star Levi is a newcomer to the Heroes team, and is less than lovable in his role as Luke Collins. After a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, that left the city decimated and people blaming the heroes, Luke and his wife, Joanne (Shekoni), look to avenge their loss. “Luke is a very tortured guy. He’s gone down a very dark path in his very twisted relationship with his wife,” Levi shares.
Kring emphasizes that first and foremost, with a fresh crop of heroes on hand (who have some cool new powers), the show remains true to focusing on the characters and their personal stories of dealing with their abilities. As for Claire, Sylar, Peter and other former heroes, we’re told that ancillary content — via a digital prequel series, mobile app games and e-novellas — will bridge the gap between the two series, but by the end of Reborn’s run, a big chunk of the questions about them will be answered.