Sunday, November 14, 2004

The road to 'Lost'

There are just two television shows on my must-watch list for this season: HBO's The Wire and ABC's Lost. I love both of them, but I've become obsessed with J.J. Abrams' survivor soap opera.

The New York Times looks at how the series rocketed from rough concept to green-lit project in just five days, then started filming less than 12 weeks later:

That wasn't the hard part. And transporting the wreckage of an L-1011 jetliner to the show's location on Oahu may have been daunting, but doable. But of all the logistical nightmares that deadline represented none were more daunting than finding actors for the unusually large and internationally diverse ensemble cast - as the parts were still being written.

"It was insanity," said the casting director, April Webster, who had worked with Mr. Abrams on "Alias." "The characters kept changing. Every few days they'd call up and say, 'It looks like there's another one.' "
The article also points out how rapidly casting and characterization changed. Thankfully, it appears to have been for the better:
Charlie, the burned-out English rocker played by Dominic Monaghan, was originally envisioned as a middle-aged businessman with a drug problem. Sawyer, the troublesome American played by Josh Holloway, was going to be a New Zealander. And Jack, the heroic (so far) spinal surgeon played by Matthew Fox, was going to be much older. And since he was also meant to die in the first episode, a one-shot appearance, high-priced movie stars like Michael Keaton and Aaron Eckhardt were being considered for the part.