The first television series ever to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, NBC's "Heroes Reborn" was screened last week to a full house buzzing with excitement.
Introduced to the crowd by creator Tim Kring, the 13-episode revival is set a year after a terrorist attack left Odessa, Texas, in ruins and those with extraordinary abilities — who were blamed for the event — on the run from people with nefarious motives. The event series brings together familiar faces from the 2006 drama with new cast members.
Following the screening, Kring welcomed the cast: Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Ryan Guzman, Kiki Sukezane, Henry Zabrowski, Caitlyn Green, Danika Yarosh, Rya Kijlstedt, Judith Shekoni, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Greg Grunberg, Noah Grey Cabey, Francesca Eastwood and Lucious Hoyos.
"What I didn't say before was that everything you saw on screen was the hard work of hundreds of people, and most of them are here tonight," King said. "So all of you, the crew, and all of you who worked on the show, got to see the fruits of their hard work."
"I think the show always did have a big audience that was actually there, a lot of people by the end of the show where watching it on other platforms, frankly and those people were sort of unable to be counted by networks at the time," he continued. "But I think now we can kind of factor in these time shifted audiences and hopefully the nostalgia for this is there and enough to give us a welcome back."
Asked by an audience member how long it took to put "Heroes Reborn" together, Kring replied, "I had five years to think a little bit about it between the series.
"The truth is, this happens because of a writers room. And this writers room is a big writers room," he said. "It is the engine from which all of the creativity comes on this show. You get 10 or so really smart people in a room for 10,000 hours, and pretty soon you start to have a couple ideas that start to work. It really is one of these long, you get to know one another for month's situations in the writer's room that you get to know the story and the story eventually all starts to craft itself. So, it certainly is not out of the mind of one person by any means."
Asked out decision to create such a multicultural, global cast, Kring said, "The original premise of the show was that it was about global consciousness and interconnectivity and the idea that the world needed saving. It felt a little disingenuous to have that be blonde-haired, blue-eyed people from Southern California. I've always been fascinated that the world is a small -- and getting smaller -- place. I wanted a cast that looked like, albeit better-looking, that looked like ordinary people."
"This has been a very big, difficult and complicated show to make," he said. "We are taking all the effort that we have to make just this show have a beginning, a middle and an end, so that when you log on to the show, you know that you are actually guaranteed to have an ending. That said, I've always felt like the 'Heroes' brand was elastic enough to tell more stories. The world always needs saving, and it's proven to be an elastic brand that allows for lots of re-populating of characters, as demonstrated by the cast here. So it's a success, and should the audience call for it, I think there are ways to tell more stories with this brand."
"Heroes Reborn" has its two-hour broadcast premiere Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.