Wayward Pines will be back this summer, continuing Fox’s futuristic fight for survival from Blake Crouch and M. Night Shyamalan, both of whom were on hand at Saturday’s WonderCon panel to tease what’s in store for the new season.
For the uninitiated, Wayward Pines actually takes place centuries after most of humanity has died off. The town was built as a sanctuary for humans by David Pilcher (Toby Jones), who kept the fate of civilization a secret in order to keep hope alive. In truth, most of humanity has devolved into mindless, bloodthirsty beasts known as Abbys, whom the bosses teased have a very specific plan for their Earth in season 2.
The second season will pick up in the wake of the events of the finale, roughly about three years later, in which the adults got out from under David Pilcher’s reign only to be frozen in time again by the First Generation of children.
In season 2, a new arrival, Dr. Theo Yedlin (Jason Patric), finds himself in the middle of a serious rebellion, as the residents battle over how to preserve the endangered human race. “There’s definitely a learning curve for Theo,” Shyamalan says. “Because there are [so] many people asleep, we thought you could always wake up anybody and what is their reaction to the weirdness that’s happening?”
“He’s very much a loner in the sense that he doesn’t believe any of this is happening,” Patric says. “He’s obviously going to have to make connections. At one point you’re going to have to accept that you’re alive.”
However, it quickly becomes apparent that Theo is very important to the town because he’s a doctor, which surely will upset Jason (Tom Stevens), who has now filled the shoes of Pilcher in the wake of his death. “It upsets the balance and order that’s going on in the town,” Shyamalan says.
Theo won’t be alone in the fight against the First Generation. Among the familiar faces returning from season 1 includes Jones, Hope Davis as Megan Fisher, Carla Gugino as Kate Hewson, Melissa Leo as Pam Pilcher, Charlie Tahan as Ben Burke, Terrence Howard as Sheriff Pope, Shannyn Sossamon as Theresa Burke, Tim Griffin as Adam Hassler.
“Adam Hassler [Tim Griffin], who had a very small part in season 1, is a very critical part in his terms of understanding of Wayward Pines, and we’re going to check in with him in season 2,” Crouch says, adding that they will mine more from his book trilogy in the second season.
For those wondering how Empire‘s Howard and Captain America‘s Jones could return considering they both died in the first season — spoiler alert: Megan Fisher did not die — Shyamalan reveals, “The basic premise is it takes place in two time periods, so there’s always the flash back to us now and what we were before.” The main question those flashbacks will answer is why these people in particular were chosen for Wayward Pines.
Among the other newcomers include Djimon Hounsou, who plays CJ Mitchum, one of Wayward Pines’ original residents, who is a thoughtful historian with a vast knowledge of what’s really going on in the town, and must make a very pivotal decision. Also joining: Nimrat Kaur as Theo’s wife, Josh Helman as a resident working to undermine Wayward Pines from within and Kacey Rohl as one of Jason’s lieutenants in the civil war.
Though the first season was looked at as a closed-ended story, Shyamalan says that if season 2 is sucessful, they will finish the series as a trilogy with a third season. “It was very important that we knew what the end was,” Shyamalan says. “We came up with an end that we thought was really, really exciting and worked backward from there. [We told the network that] we would love to do a second season because we feel like the story is going to end at a particular point.”
Wayward Pines will return for a 10-episode second season this summer on Fox.