Hunters creator is crafting a 'fitting' season 2 for 'the most villainous character in history'
Warning: Spoilers from the Hunters season 1 finale are mentioned in this article.
Hunters season 2 is well underway.
While promoting Invasion, his upcoming Apple TV+ series with executive producer Simon Kinberg, series creator David Weil confirmed to EW that filming has already begun on the provocative Amazon Prime Video drama, and that he's setting up a story that befits "perhaps the most villainous character in history."
"I'm gonna get in trouble for saying this, but we've completed our U.S. leg of filming and we will be shooting in Europe in the coming days," Weil tells EW. "So, we're very much in production and I hope that we'll be speaking at some point next year about the release of Hunters season 2."
In terms of that "villainous character" Weil is talking about, it's none other than the one revealed in the Hunters season 1 finale.
Joe (Louis Ozawa), a member of the Nazi-slaying Hunters squad operating out of New York in the late 1970s, was kidnapped by the Colonel (Lena Olin) and taken to her secret estate... where it's revealed that she is none other than Eva Braun and her husband, Adolf Hitler, has been alive and well all this time. Viewers were left with a shot of Hitler's back as he walks up to their outdoor dining table.
"I want to follow through on the promise that I made to audiences at the end of season 1," Weil says, looking ahead to season 2. "I think the introduction of perhaps the most villainous character in history deserves a fitting season that pursues that character. My hope for season 2 is that there's a great deal of thrill and terror, emotion, heart, catharsis, peril, and to deliver a season that is even bigger, that really builds on season 1 and pays off for our audience in a big way."
Weil admits he's trying to be "a little evasive" to keep certain things close to the vest, but he adds, "Season 2 is like nothing you've seen before."
The Hateful Eight Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh ranks among the newcomers to the Hunters cast in season 2, which stars Logan Lerman and Jerrika Hinton. Leigh plays a top-ranking Nazi hunter named Chava, and "she's so brilliant," Weil teases.
"Jennifer is an act, wildly brilliant, insightful, soulful," the showrunner says. "She is a chameleon through and through, and I think audiences will be on their toes and on the edge of their seats watching her. But more so, she is just such a kind and thoughtful and generous person. Adding her to our Hunters family has been so special for me, for the cast, and for the production as a whole."
The jury's still out as to whether Al Pacino will return in season 2 in some capacity. The actor portrayed who we thought to be Meyer Offerman, a Holocaust survivor and leader of the Hunters, but he revealed himself to be Wilhelm Zuchs, a former Nazi doctor who assumed the real Meyer's identity and founded the Hunters. Lerman's Jonah, the man's mentee, kills him in season 1 upon learning of this betrayal of trust.
When asked if Pacino would make a comeback, Weil, understandably, pulls a "no comment."
Hunters was evidence of Weil's boldness as a creator, for better or worse. It was a show that was not only fearless in showing someone punch a Nazi in the face (and then some), but depict the evil within humanity. One episode that ruffled feathers featured the imagery of a human chessboard with victims of the concentration camps used as chess pieces. The Auschwitz Memorial Museum criticized this moment for its potential to welcome "future [Holocaust] deniers" by inventing a fake game.
The experience making season 1 gave Weil, who's Jewish and drew on stories he heard from his grandmother as a child to shape his story, lessons to take with him into season 2.
"Intention is tantamount. Everything I do, every word I write, every character move and turn, there's an intention behind it," he says. "I think what I learned from season 1 of Hunters was to really follow my vision, my instincts and impulses, even if it stretches people's imagination or expectations. But really I think the people in storytelling is tantamount, and also to engage with an audience. It's been thrilling and informative and wonderful to hear the response of Hunters season 1, and, certainly, I think engaging with an audience, listening to an audience is vital. There will be some things in season 2 that were done because of the great and informative and wonderful response to Hunters season 1. I just loved that relationship with an audience and I want to continue to push boundaries and to be bold in storytelling."
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