If you think that ABC’s upcoming superhero family show No Ordinary Family lacks ambition after four years of Heroes saving the world every season, you should talk to star Michael Chiklis, who says it’s going to be like Spider-Man every single week.
Talking to the Hollywood Reporter, Chiklis explains the tonal challenge that the show faces:
This is pure entertainment and it’s witty and fun, yet soulful and heartfelt. But you also have those great adrenal moments. The threat there is if you go too far in any direction, you go over the top comedically or be too melodramatic and you can fail. Yet if you aren’t bold in any direction, you can become vanilla. Tonally, we felt it had to be crisp and smart and fun — yet not taking itself too seriously… There will be episodes that are lighter at heart and then shows that are darker in tone. We’re never going to be “Dark Knight” kind of dark because that goes to a place that precludes and excludes my 11-year-old. One of the templates that we used in terms of tone was the first “Spider-Man” movie: It was pure entertainment; it was smart, had familial stuff between Peter Parker and his aunt and uncle. There was romantic stuff between him and Kirsten Dunst and the adventure stuff between he and Green Goblin. And all worked scene to scene. We’re going for that because there’s a very sophisticated audience out there. But they had five months to shoot, and this situation is fraught with challenges and quite different.
How different? Well, the Shield star – who not only plays one of the series leads but also produces the show – says “We’re essentially making a 45-minute Marvel feature every eight [days], with a ninth swing day. On the ninth day of the shoot, there are two units — one that’s starting a new show, that becomes the ‘A’ unit. It really is a nine-day shoot.” Sound ambitious? It should – but Chiklis thinks everyone can handle it:
We have a cast of actors who are very seasoned pros, people who are used to television schedules who can learn and a phenomenal crew used to television schedule and also feature experience. Thus far, we’re pulling it off. And, it really has to run in a completely cooperative atmosphere. There’s no time for stuff; we have to be hyper-efficient. Go right to it and live with our choices.
No Ordinary Family premieres next Tuesday on ABC.