BuddyTV Interviews LOST’s Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse – and gets Answers!
It has captured imaginations, and frustrated viewers for three seasons now, it is ABC’s monolithic smash hit LOST. Lately, the show has been beseiged with complaints that there are no answers, so we sent our intrepid LOST guru Jon “DocArzt” Lachonis in search of some of the details LOST fans crave. He sat down with LOST executive producers and writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to get some insight on the island’s biggest mysteries. Will there be another LOST Experience? Will Marvin Candle ever escape the confines of gritty 16mm orientation films? Are there twins among the others? What does the forthcoming game from UbiSoft hold in store for fans? When will season four premiere? And, what is up with that mysterious cable? The answers are here.
BuddyTV: Is there enough information given on the show that someone could put together a fact-based theory that more or less explains what’s going on, on the island?
Carlton Cuse: I don’t think so, I mean, the story is not yet complete. I don’t think there’s enough that we’ve put out there that would allow someone to draw a conclusive theory about the island and the show.
Damon Lindelof: I think that there are bits and pieces that someone could put together. Recently Carlton and I put out to the Yahoo community all over the world, what do you think the monster is? And some people came alarmingly close to what its origins were, how it functions, what its purpose is, but they weren’t able to go the next level as Carlton says, deeper into saying, “That’s what it is but what does that mean in the grander scheme of what the island is.” It doesn’t mean that someone couldn’t accidentally back into it and anticipate something that they haven’t seen yet. But sort of the real hardcore intel about the island is going to start to reveal itself towards the end of the season as we learn more about the others.
BuddyTV: One thing that’s a bit of controversy in the fan community is whether or not any of the information from The Lost Experience game is actually a factor in the universe of the show. Is that something you could clear up for us?
Carlton Cuse: I think that for us, yeah, I mean, all of Alvar Hanso and his relationship with funding the Dharma Initiative is part of the mythology. The details of the Hanso Foundation’s demise…it’s tangential to the show but it’s not unrelated to the show. We sort of felt like the Internet Experience was a way for us to get out mythologies that we would never get to I wain the show. I mean, because this is mythology that doesn’t have an effect on the character’s lives or existence on the island. We created it for purposes of understanding the world of the show but it was something that was always going to be sort of below the water, sort of the iceberg metaphor, and the Internet Experience sort of gave us a chance to reveal it.
Damon Lindelof: I would say in terms of all the… background that we did, in terms of the Valenzetti equation and explaining the formation of the Hanso Foundation and doing the other films…we’d consider that stuff cannon to the show. Where there’d have to be wiggle room is the Rachel Blake story where she’s in the real world, in the outside world as we define it, the show Lost might be defined in an entirely different outside world so we can’t vouch for the overall fit ability and veracity of everything that Rachel was doing. But we can say that all the factoids that she was uncovering were vetted, in fact many of them were written by us personally so they are cannon.
BuddyTV: Is there going to be another Lost Experience at some point? Will those characters be revisited?
Carlton Cuse: I don’t think those characters would be revisited. As to whether there’s going to be another Lost Experience, there’s been discussions about it and I think it would only happen if we found another story that again, felt like it was worth telling but that we weren’t going to get around to telling it on the mother ship.
BuddyTV: Going way back, and maybe I’m just imagining this but at the end of Season 1, there was a pair of twins on Mr. Friendly’s pleasure yacht and I swear that somebody said that the twins were going to become important to the storyline at a future date. Is that still something that’s hanging around in the background somewhere?
Damon Lindelof: I remember the twins because we hired the twin stuntmen to be guys on the boat but I don’t ever recall having said, although it’s highly possible, sometimes we get asked questions at Comicon for example about like nano clouds and stuff like that and things that we say in jest actually just come back and slap us later from the press in terms of saying, “You said that twins would be of critical importance to later story telling.” It sounds like something we might say talking out of the side of our mouths but we can tell you, sitting here now that twins have nothing to do whatsoever with the mythology of the show.
BuddyTV: Also going back a bit, I know at one point during Season 2, Darren Aronofsky approached you guys about directing an episode. Is that something that still might come about?
Carlton Cuse: No, you know basically it turned out that Darren still had work to do on his movie and Rachel Weisz was having their child and he had too many outside commitments and really we haven’t revisited it since then so there’s no plans for Darren to come and direct on the show.
BuddyTV: So far there’s been three David’s in the show: Hurley’s Dad, Libby’s husband and Hurley’s imaginary friend. Is there anything to that or do you guys just like the name David?
Damon Lindelof: We like certain biblical names and David is one of them. David happened to be my father’s name, maybe that’s sort of subconsciously rattling around in there.
Carlton Cuse: The connection between the imaginary Dave and Dave his father was completely intentional, I mean we wanted basically Hurley to imagine a friend and have that be wrapped up in his unresolved relationship with his Dad, so that’s why his imaginary friend is named Dave.
Damon Lindelof: As to Libby’s ex, that’s an entirely different David we may or may not meet in the future.
BuddyTV: As far as the Dharma folks go I know that something reveals tonight. Is there a chance we’re ever going to see more back-story to guys like Marvin Candle and Radzinsky?
Carlton Cuse: You know, we probably haven’t seen the last of Marvin Candle. He’s pretty tangential to earn his own back-story but definitely there will be more storytelling downstream involving the Dharma initiatives.
Damon Lindelof: I would say we might be seeing Marvin Candle somewhere other than a Dharma film at some point before all is said and done.
BuddyTV: About the video game that…is doing. Are you guys involved in the plot of that at all, will that be a self-contained story like the Lost Experience?
Carlton Cuse: It is going to be self-contained although it will obviously take place and be set in environments that we’ve seen on the show. We’re involved in sort of an overview fashion, we’re not writing the game. The game, however, is being in part written by Dawn Kelly who used to work; both as a writer’s assistant and wrote an episode on the show. So we obviously are involved in monitoring and progress and the development of the game but they’re writing their own self-contained story that isn’t an extension of canon.
Damon Lindelof: We pitched them a concept for the game and they’re basically going to run with it but I think much in the same way that the Star Wars first person shooter games worked, where even you’re new characters exploring similar environments in the movies that you already know. So you’re on the Death Star but you’re not Luke Skywalker or Obi Wan Kenobi. It’s going to function in the same reality as that. So if you’re watching the show you’re not going to go, “Oh wait a minute, was this going on because I was playing the game? I was in this environment playing the role of this character.” The answer is no. It’s more sort of a fun way of re-exploring some of the things that you’ve already seen in the show but from a different point of view.
Carlton Cuse: I will say this, we provided the game makers with details of our sets and stuff so you may see in the game more things in sets that we only saw parts of in the show, like the Hydra or even the Swan.
BuddyTV: A little while back there was talk that there might be a Lost feature film at some point. Is that still alive?
Damon Lindelof: It’s funny, you know, we hear like 24 is going to do a movie and you always have to think like, I don’t know how they or when they do that. The reality of it is we’re shooting the show for ten months out of the year and the other two months we are spending, cumulatively recharging our batteries but also beginning to generate stories for the following season and you can’t shoot a feature film in two months even if we went right into it. So as long as the show is on the air as a TV show, logistically there could be no movie. And more importantly, it’s somewhat exploitative to kind of say to the audience who watches the show, “Hey, now you’ve got to go and pay eleven bucks and go into the theater in order to stay caught up with the show.” It’s not like 24 where we could do a self-contained movie. The movie would really have to answer definitive questions, move the plot forward, you know and we just don’t know how to do that or whether or not it needs to be done.
BuddyTV: Maybe this is asking too much about the nature of the resolution of the story but after the series has ended, would feature films be a possibility?
Carlton Cuse: That is so far off, that isn’t even anything we’ve talked about so you know, it’s hard to answer that question because it isn’t anything we’ve even discussed.
BuddyTV: Do you have a premiere date for Season 4 of Lost yet? Carlton Cuse: No, I think basically the plan though is to do it in the spring of next year.
Damon Lindelof: Well actually January or February of next year, so the late Winter. In the beginning of the calendar year of 2008. No one was happy with the six episodes …and now that the show is on at 10 o’clock, I think everyone’s plan, barring any last minute changes from the network, is to air the show in a continuous run like 24 in the sort of spring television season.
BuddyTV: As far as DVD releases, is ABC looking at doing a high definition version anytime in the near future?
Damon Lindelof: I know that there are talks about it but we haven’t heard any official. You know these guys, when all is said and done and the show is completed, they will probably release some sort of mega box set with all the sort of bells and whistles that I imagine would be in HD but as far as the ongoing sort of process of it all, we are not aware of any plans to do that. Do you know of any TV shows that have released a season in high definition?
BuddyTV: No, I heard something about Smallville possibly doing a set.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, I think they would have to wait to see if there was a business there yet before they started talking about it. We go to them all the time and say, “But it would be so cool if you did this.” And then they’re like, “Well, you know, are we going to make any money?”
Carlton Cuse: The show looks so great in high definition. It will happen eventually, it’s just a question I think of when they feel like they can sell enough units to justify the cost of re-mastering it.
BuddyTV: The map that was discovered in the Dharma bus, does that have any significance in comparison to the Lockdown map or has that pretty much served its purpose at this point?
Carlton Cuse: I think the purpose of that map was just to establish that basically there was at one point a road that linked the Dharma stations but with 25 years of jungle growth those roads have been overgrown. It wasn’t really mythology canon; it was more descriptive so the audience could understand how there was a Dharma bus out there in the middle of the jungle.
BuddyTV: Another loose thread that’s been out there for a while is the cable that Sayid found in the ocean…
Carlton Cuse: That’s coming up! Everyone will finally find out what that cable is, that cable is coming into play before the end of this season in a major way.
Damon Lindelof: That is what we call a long con that was a 50-episode set-up.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah. But it’s coming and it’s paying off, it’s not a random cable.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Images Courtesy ABC)
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