More so than the screwy spies they play on television, the cast of "Archer" were tight-lipped about season seven as they dove into roundtable interviews at Comic-Con International in San Diego. "It's top secret," H. Jon Benjamin (Archer himself) declared, "And I've got to keep that way."
But despite the reluctance and deflections of the show's cast and creators, we did glean a few clues of what fans have to look forward to in 2016.
Why all the secrecy?
Creator Adam Reed explained, "Well, we're keeping it under wraps because we're doing things a little different this coming season. We didn't have the premiere episode ready for Comic-Con because we've got some new locations going on, some fresh new looks…. So that's taking some time to draw."
"There's also a new car for Archer," producer Casey Willis teased. SPINOFF pressed if this new car might be a family vehicle, to which he replied, "I mean that would make sense. But I don't know that Archer makes decisions on things that make sense."
It's a new environment, but same old office politics.
"Everybody's still everybody," Amber Nash (A.K.A. Pam Poovey) said, "They still have the same dynamics. They still treat each other in the same poor fashion they always have. But they just get to do it in a new environment."
But there has been a shift in status among "Archer"s key players.
"There is a bit of a power shift," Nash admitted, " But the people who were on top aren't taking it easy. Mallory's not going down without a fight. She's still going to tell everybody what to do. (She's been knocked down a peg) a little bit. But she doesn't care. She's drunk all the time. She's still going to boss people around."
So who's taken Mallory's place at the top of the pyramid? Perennial punching bag Cyril Figgis. "He has more authority. He has a new title," Chris Parnell shared of his character's promotions between seasons. "But it's mostly in name only because the rest of the group doesn't necessarily respect his new title that much."
Parnell added, "He'll get moments of respect for certain things, where he does things very well and surprises people. But that's not Cyrill's role in life. It's more to get shat upon. And that's all right too. The show needs someone like that."
Expect more wild action-comedy.
"It's still high stakes adventure and danger and sex stuff," Reed assured, though he declined to detail what the former ISIS crew would do now that they've burned their bridges with the CIA, and erased all ties to their old--now problematic--acronym. "We do have a new name for the agency, "Reed admitted, stopping short before daring to reveal it.
Pam gets more action this season.
"She is getting into more action, out in the world this season," Nash said, noting that she's only seen two scripts for season seven so far. "But she's getting out into the mix a little bit more." And Nash is ready. To get into character, that particular nasal tone of Pam, she only needs to shout the character's catchphrase, "Holy shitsnacks" and she's ready to record.
Lana and Archer will continue to figure out parenthood.
Speaking of the sexy, sweater dress-sporting spy she voices, Aisha Tyler said, "She's a working mom now, and she's trying to co-parent with a guy who's an inveterate douche. (Having a baby) hasn't messed up her sex life at all, she's still boning like a champ. So, I guess you can expect more of all of that."
"And also the team is out in the cold now," she went on, "Obviously they were disavowed. And then they became drug dealers, now they're trying to come back in from being disavowed, and trying to put their skills to good use. Everybody has to make a living. Lana's still a working mom; she's not independently wealthy. So I think she's going to try to take care of her child, deal with Archer, and not get shot in the face. That's a big goal for season seven. That's a life goal for all of us: Don't get shot in the face…Also (baby Abbiejean) is a major connection between Archer and Lana. So I think whether you're seeing the baby or not seeing the baby, she's going to be a pivotal element of the show."
"Phrasing" gets its second coming.
"I will admit that 'phrasing' makes a big comeback this season," Benjamin said. "They took away your phrasing, and now you're going to get it back full force. There's a shit ton of phrasing."
He even busted out this chestnut when explaining the difficulty of recording Archer's many screaming scenes, saying, "It has to stop being just one long fire fight that I'm yelling over, because I can't keep it up. Phrasing!"
Woodhouse could earn a rare winning moment.
Willis offered this mysterious comment, "If this person comes through in the story, I know that Woodhouse is going to have a really cool appearance. So hopefully that all comes to fruition.
Ray is back in his wheelchair as season 7 starts.
But the oft-wounded agent won't be down and out long. Reed teased, "I think eventually Ray will become a full cyborg, like an actual titanium skeleton, full robot."
New guest stars include an Oscar winner and a controversial comedian.
"We've got some great guest stars so far," Reed shared. "We've recorded two episodes, I'm writing the third. And we've got Patton Oswalt and J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash")."
Christian Slater could come back.
Willis told us Reed was eager to get away from the confines of the CIA with season seven, but we may not have seen the last of Slater. "We've only recorded a couple of episodes and he hasn't come back yet," Willis explained, "But I've talked to Adam (Reed), and I believe he has some plans to bring him back. We love (Christian Slater) so much. He's great and he's also a huge "Archer" fan which is also super cool."
Reed is on the hunt for new guest stars at Comic-Con.
"A lot of times we run into people at work things, like Comic-Con or for FX," Reed said. "And we will run into someone like Allison Tolman (who played Pam's mean sister Edie) and go, 'Hey, will you come be on "Archer?"' And they're like, 'Yeesh. Inappropriate. You should talk to my agent.' But I would say ¾ of our guest stars we have cornered unfairly at a work function, and we sort of guilt tripped them into being on "Archer."
Expect more allusions and homages.
The series has had crossovers with "Bob's Burgers" and "Sealab 2021," and referenced countless Burt Reynolds movies along with having the man himself play himself as a road racing, womanizing idol. And Reed promises, "There are some (more allusions coming) but they would be inherently spoilery if I tell you what they were. But there are some. This coming season we're doing some pretty heavy homages to film and television that we haven't done before."
Also expect creatures.
"I can say that there's some creatures," Judy Greer (A.K.A. Cheryl/Carol Tunt) offered, "They're being bad." She went on to describe them as "bad, scary and mean," adding that they'll appear in next season's premiere. But what are these creatures? Your guess is as good as ours. We've seen tigers, ocelots, and ostriches on the show. What could come next?
"Archer" season seven will hit in 2016.