Character actor Justin Theroux isn’t quite a household name as of yet but odds are you’ve seen something he’s starred in (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, American Psycho, “Parks and Recreation”) or written (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2) or know who he’s about to marry (Jennifer Aniston).
According to Variety, he’s signed on to play the lead in Damon Lindelof’s (“LOST”) new HBO pilot, so I have a feeling all that’s about to change. [Editor’s note: Theroux also directed a great but little-seen indie drama called Dedication, which you should check out if you can.]
Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta (who also serves as co-writer and co-executive prodcer alongside Lindelof), “The Leftovers” centers on a world where most of humanity vanishes in a seemingly rapture-like situation and those left behind forced to figure out what the hell happened. Theroux takes on the role of town leader Kevin Garvey, who struggles to keep things on an even keel in the face of a frightening situation.
In case you need more, here’s how Amazon breaks it down:
What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down?
That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children.
Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start.
Signaling Lindelof’s return to TV since “LOST” went off the air, he’s now working with HBO and he’s not messing around with the pilot. He brought in actor turned writer/director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights – film AND TV series) to direct.
When the Chicago Sun-Times calls The Leftovers “An Our Times for end times,” and horror writing icon Stephen King says “The Leftovers is, simply put, the best Twilight Zone episode you never saw” as part of his New York Times Book Review, you KNOW Lindelof’s gonna come up with something pretty amazing.
I gotta admit, I just ordered the book based on the cover alone. Did I mention that Perrotta also wrote Election, which Alexander Payne turned into a brilliantly subversive film that starred Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, and Chris Klein?
NOW you’re feeling curiouser and curiouser, eh?
As soon as I know more, you’ll know more – PROMISE.
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