At 6:00 pm PDT today, ComicCon@Home 2020 held its panel for Season 2 of AMC’s NOS4A2. A description of the panel from Comic-Con’s website is copied below along with an embedded recording of the live stream.
If you’re one of those folks who prefers to read things (or just wants the highlights), then scroll a little further for our commentary about the event.
‘NOS4A2’ returns to Comic-Con for its second season, which kicked off on Sunday, June 21 and airs through August 23. Moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Clark Collis, the panel will feature showrunner and executive producer Jami O’Brien, executive producer Joe Hill and cast member Zachary Quinto. ‘NOS4A2’s second season picks up eight years after the events of season one. Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) remains more determined than ever to destroy Charlie Manx (Quinto). Charlie, having faced his own mortality, emerges desperate for revenge against Vic. This time, he sets his sights on the person who means most to Vic – her eight-year-old son Wayne. The race for Wayne’s soul sends Vic and Charlie on a high-speed collision course, forcing both to confront the mistakes of their pasts in order to secure a hold on Wayne’s future.
The following is a very condensed summary of the 35-minute panel’s biggest highlights.
Clark Collis moderator:
After Collis introduced everyone, he showed a video featuring clips from the second half of the season, including A LOT more of Christmasland than we’ve seen before (and an impending showdown there with Manx).
— NOS4A2 (@NOS4A2) July 26, 2020
Showrunner Jami O’Brien: We only met Lou at the end of Season 1, but he’s played a major role in the story for Season 2. He may not have superpowers, but he’s still a good hearted, hardworking dad who’s definitely a hero.
One of the best lines he gave came in Season 1 when Vic tells him about what’s happening and he says “I read comic books. I know there’s a lot of stuff out there.” In addition to telling a lot about his personality, it also showed how at home he was with the possibility of supernatural elements in our world (which also prevented story time from being burned on chipping away at a wall of skepticism).
The show’s child roles were casted by audition. Jason David (Wayne) and Mattea Conforti (Millie) blew them away. You can see Jason becoming more comfortable as Season 2 goes on.
The reason she wanted to adapt NOS4A2 was because she fell in love with Vic McQueen. Her strength is courageous instead of physical. One of her favorite scenes in the novel is when Vic goes into Sleigh House for the first time. She sees a kid she doesn’t know and tries to rescue him without a second thought (which ends up almost getting her killed when the child turns out to be a vampire).
Millie is not in the novel, but has a significantly expanded role in the series. When Manx died at the beginning of the season, that opened a tiny place inside her to think beyond Christmasland a bit. The things she has discovered since then have only opened that place even further.
After getting the script together for Episode 5, there was real concern about all the underwater shots it would require. She loved the scene in the book though and was determined to do it. The actors and production crew stepped up to the challenge and did a phenomenal job.
Joe Hill pitched Tom Savini’s Old Snake character and wanted Savini to play him. Hill talked to Savini and it happened! (Hill mentioned here that Tom Savini used to babysit him on the set of Creepshow).
We’ll see some unexpected actions from Bing in the second half of this season.
Author Joe Hill: The second season is very faithful to the spirit and characters in the book, but the show has also managed to find its own voice. This was exemplified in the fifth episode, which he absolutely loved.
The stories are mostly the same, but the show does take a few unexpected turns–you don’t want book readers feeling too comfortable.
He loved Parnassus from first season and wanted to dig into that aspect of the show more during its second season. That’s part of what helped inspire the creation of the Hourglass Man, aka the ultimate Charlie Manx fanboy.
You can feel Vic’s discomfort with being a mother. She’s constantly questioning herself and would honestly rather fight supernatural threats than raise a child. Meanwhile, Charlie is totally confident and at ease around children. In a weird way, NOS4A2 is like what would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer had to graduate and live as an adult.
His favorite episode/sequence hasn’t happened yet (hinted at Episode 9 or 10).
Look for Maggie to kick some ass in the second half of Season 2.
Even though our heroes appear to have hit rock bottom, things can definitely get worse.
Zachary Quinto (Charlie Manx): Season 2 has given Manx a great deal more context. They tried to incorporate a lot of the material from the Wraith graphic novel into the character’s backstory.
The second half of Season 2 will feature an even deeper dive into Manx’s past that explores his childhood.
The kids are great to work with, especially Mattea Conforti and Jason David.
Ashleigh Cummings is amazing. His dog Skunk and her dog Elton became best friends on set (D’awww).
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Bing) is so much nicer and smarter than his on screen counterpart. He and Darri actually visited Iceland together (I have never been more jealous of a vacation in my life).
Manx is used to recycling through henchmen, but Bing is a little different. In the second half of Season 2, we’ll get to see what happens when Bing finally decides to push back against Manx.
Episode 5 was Quinto’s favorite one to shoot. When he first saw the script, he thought the changing structure and POVs would not work at all. Then director Hanelle Culpeppper came in and made it work beautifully.
Episode 7’s script was extremely challenging, but he loved it. He’s also looking forward to Bing’s character arc in the second half of the season.
NOS4A2 airs Sundays at 10:00 PM on AMC. Be sure to check back here for weekly recaps and reviews.
Read our interview with ‘NOS4A2’ showrunner Jami O’Brien here.
If one episode a week of ‘NOS4A2’ isn’t enough, then hop over to the NOS4A2 Fans Facebook group for in depth discussion among one of the best communities in the otherwise hellish landscape of social media fandom. Hopefully the show continues to be good so my reviews don’t make things awkward.