People were generally divided into two schools of thought on HBO’s solemn, mysterious drama The Leftovers. Either you appreciated it as a thoughtful examination of grief and loss, or you dismissed it as an overwrought exercise in misery porn. And though its ratings weren’t anything to write home about, HBO did renew the show for a second season, so showrunners Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta will have another chance to engage viewers. Intriguingly, they’ll be changing things up quite a bit in order to do so.
According to Deadline, The Leftovers will be leaving the town of Mapleton behind to an as-of-yet unknown new setting. Part and parcel with that, multiple characters who played a role in the first season won’t be returning. Out of the 14 stars of the first season, only the leads are set to reprise their roles. That includes Justin Theroux as Mapleton’s mentally unstable sheriff Kevin Garvey, Margaret Qualley as his daughter Jill, Amy Brenneman as his estranged wife and Chris Zylka as his son Tom. Additionally, fan favorite Carrie Coon will return as Nora Durst, and Christopher Eccleston will reprise the role of Nora’s brother, former reverend Matt Jamison. Ann Dowd and Liv Tyler, who play members of a cult called the Guilty Remnant, are considered likely to return as well.
Outside of those actors, though, it’s unclear who (if any) of the other cast members are returning. If Mapleton is in the show’s rearview, that may mean viewers can bid adieu to Jill’s ex-best friend Aimee (Emily Meade), Mapleton Mayor Lucy Warburton (Amanda Warren) and local twins Adam and Scott Frost (Max and Charlie Carver). I wouldn’t expect to lose the mysterious Dean (Michael Gambon), however, given how integral he is to the mysteries surrounding Kevin’s declining mental health.
Season 1 of The Leftovers burned through the source material, written by Perrotta, so it’s not that surprising to hear that a soft reboot of sorts is necessary to get the wheels turning again. Hopefully the series will find itself on solid ground when it returns, possibly next summer – The Leftovers came into its own in its season finale, so I’m eagerly anticipating its return.