Josh Hutcherson’s done some intensive action-film shoots before — a Hunger Games arena here, a wild Journey there. But nothing compares to the dramatic athletic feats he performed for Future Man, the new sci-fi action comedy that starts streaming today on Hulu. “I had to do some new things physically,” laughs Hutcherson. “I learned to run in heels! It’s all about keeping the weight on the balls of your feet.”
Hutcherson plays Josh Futturman, a video game obsessive called to world-saving destiny by two exo-armored badasses (Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson) traveling from the post-apocalypse. “He wants to fix the future without f–king up the present,” explains Hutcherson. “They have to jump around through time to try to make adjustments. The show explores multiple decades — the ’60s, the ’80s, the ’40s, the ’90s.”
Although Future Man is a comedy, there’s a sincerity to the main character’s hero’s journey. “He’s not a slacker,” says Hutcherson. “In my mind, he’s not even a loser. He’s a guy who has not really been driven a whole lot. He definitely grows a lot, and becomes more capable.” And the show also follows the parallel trajectory of the aforementioned badasses, Tiger and Wolf, who have to steadily readjust themselves to pre-apocalyptic normality. “Tiger and Wolf go from being these barbaric people from this dystopic future to learning how to function in society,” Hutcherson adds. “As unbelievable as this world is and the story we’re telling is, the characters are very much grounded.”
And the scope of Future Man is impressive, a large-scale production befitting the great ’80s cinema that the show pays homage to. “We shut down Fairfax Boulevard, in the middle of Hollywood!” Hutcherson says. “We shut down Sunset to turn it into the ’60s.”
So even though the show has laughs, its ambitions are as cosmic as any sci-fi serial. Is there a master plan? “The premise has such legs,” promises Evan Goldberg, who executive-produced the project with longtime collaborator Seth Rogen. “It can go so many places. Twenty-four seasons, if we’re as successful as Supernatural.” Better sharpen those stilettos, Hutcherson!