Well, more means more.
Over a decade after “Lost” concluded in 2010, series co-creator Damon Lindelof is spilling what really happened behind the scenes. Critically panned for dragging out the series through six seasons to an arguably lackluster finale, “Lost” was supposed to end after four seasons, if Lindelof had his way. His primary concern was running into the “‘Gilligan’s Island’ problem” where audiences begin to “get frustrated.”
“And my response to that always was like, ‘You are right. So let’s design a finite beginning, middle, and end,'” he shared during the Vulture podcast “Into It.”
“ABC just didn’t want to engage in that conversation. At the time that they picked up the show, they said, ‘Make 13 of these, and let’s see how it goes,'” Lindelof revealed. “It was such a ratings hit that it became clear to me instantly that all conversations about ending the show would be over.”
The “Watchmen” showrunner continued, “I said, ‘Hey, guys, we can’t keep this up forever,’ and that’s when ABC said, ‘Oh, we were thinking more like 10 seasons.’ The compromise ended up being six, but I personally wish that we could have done it in four.”
Simply, Lindelof prefers going against fan expectations: “People don’t want things to end,” he added. “I do.”
And the current emphasis on expanding pre-existing IPs is just another example to Lindelof of why film and TV feel like they’re retreading the same territory.
“If you make a couple of great Marvel movies, the instinct is, ‘We need to make more Marvel movies, and we need to expand this,'” Lindelof explained. “And I have this sort of interior feeling of like, ‘Wow, I wish they made less because it would make each one that came out a little bit more special.'”
He admitted, “But I watch all of them.”
For similar franchises like the “Harry Potter” IP, Lindelof weighed in: “I don’t begrudge them the right to keep it going. I’ve made prequels and sequels and reboots, so I can’t be a hypocrite and say, ‘God, come up with an original idea.’ I’m making two ‘Star Trek’ movies and ‘Prometheus.'”
And other TV series, beware of the “Lost” double-edged sword of success. As “Euphoria” star Angus Cloud teased, the Sam Levinson-led teen series will not be dragged “on like ‘Lost'” as a cautionary tale.