Both films share the same basic premise: a group of medical students perform a series of escalating experiments in which they stop their hearts and are resuscitated in order to record their experiences in the world beyond. Sutherland led the cast of the original with Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, and Oliver Platt.
The new film follows characters played by Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Kiersey Clemons, and James Norton.
“I play a professor at the medical university. It is never stated but it will probably be very clearly understood that I’m the same character I was in the original Flatliners but that I have changed my name and I’ve done some things to move on from the experiments that we were doing in the original film,” Kiefer explained in a 2016 interview with Metro U.K.
“I loved making the first film,” he added, “and when I was asked if I would be interested in taking part in this, it didn’t take more than a minute to say yes.”
Niels Arden Oplev directs Flatliners based on a screenplay by Ben Ripley. The film opens in theaters on Sept. 29.