Sorry to break it to fans of the original Heroes, but it looks Claire Bennet, the cheerleader character played by Hayden Panettiere, didn't make it. “She died a year prior to where the Heroes Reborn story picks up,” Kring said. Though we don't know exactly what happened yet, Kring did say that Claire's adoptive father, Noah Bennet aka the man with the horn-rimmed glasses (played by Jack Coleman), will be the one to reveal the story of her death.
Despite the return of some of the original cast in guest roles (including Greg Grunberg's Matt Parkman, Masi Oka's Hiro, Sendhil Ramamurthy's Mohinder and Cristine Rose's Angela Petrelli), the show will largely focus on the new characters and their origin stories.
"This is closer to [my] original idea of origin stories," Kring said, per IGN. "The primal existential questions of why and what’s my purpose? I always thought of it as a show that could repopulate itself. Falling in love with new characters is just as important as returning cast."
Kring confirmed that the amount of time that the show has been off the air is also "the amount of time that has passed in the story world." As he described it, "We’re not treating it as the fifth season, we’re treating it as the 10th season, as if there are five seasons in between."
The Season 4 finale (which ended up also being the series' final episode) ties directly into the opening of the next season. "We end on a scene where basically [Claire] outs the idea that she has powers, in front of the whole world, news cameras," Kring explained. "That was literally the last scene of the series." Viewers will get to see the repercussions of that in Reborn, in which the heroes aren't doing so well (as seen in the trailer below).
"It was a baton pass of where to go from there," Kring said of how this season will pick up where the last left off. "Since we didn’t get to have a fifth season, I always had in my mind that we had some unfinished business there."
Levi has remained pretty tight-lipped about his character on the upcoming show, but during the panel, he did imply that he's a villain. Well, sort of. "We’re bad. We’re misunderstood. We’ve been given this really cool world to play characters that are ambiguous," he said, also adding, "As far as Judi and I are concerned, you very quickly learn why they are on that journey and will that journey ultimately pay off for their souls, for their psyche."
As if Heroes didn't already contain tons of cool sci-fi elements, the show will also be doing even more with time travel this go-around. “As you know, [Masi Oka’s] character is a time-traveler and — spoiler alert — that could become a very useful power for us,” says Kring. “[But] none of the former characters except for [Jack Coleman’s] character is in every episode.”
Right now, the revival will only consist of 13 episodes, but Kring says there is potential for the series to continue beyond that. “It’s 13 episodes, so you’re going to get a beginning, a middle and an end. It allows us to do a very aggressive kind of storytelling,” he said. “We have only spoken about doing this [series]… That being said, I always felt that the brand was elastic enough, a broad enough premise… I feel confident that we can find other stories to tell with new characters and some recurring characters.”
Heroes Reborn will kick off with a two-hour premiere on Sept. 24 on NBC.
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