“The Passage” was originally picked up to pilot off-cycle at the network last year and eyed for a fall 2018 launch. According to sources, the original pilot came in below expectations at the network, with Fox wishing to reshoot significant portions. Complicating matters was the fact that Marcos Siega, the pilot’s director, would not be readily available to direct the reshoots due to other commitments.
Instead, Jason Ensler has come on board to direct the reshoots, which will take place in March in Atlanta. Fox is hoping the show will be ready for consideration at its May upfront presentation. Ensler has previously directed episodes of shows like “The West Wing,” “Chuck,” “Franklin and Bash,” and “The Newsroom.” He has also directed multiple Fox shows, including “The Exorcist” and “Lethal Weapon.”
In addition, the characters of Alicia Donadio, Peter Jaxon, and Sarah Fisher–who were to be played by Genesis Rodriguez, BJ Britt, and Jennifer Ferrin respectively–have been removed from the show. Series writer and executive producer Elizabeth Heldens has re-conceived three new characters with casting for those roles currently underway. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Vincent Piazza, Saniyya Sidney, and Brianne Howey remain with the show in their original roles.
Based on author Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name, “The Passage” is now described as a thriller series about a secret government medical facility experimenting with a dangerous virus that could either cure all disease or cause the downfall of the human race. The series focuses on a 10-year-old girl named Amy Bellafonte (Sidney), who is chosen to be a test subject for this experiment and Brad Wolgast (Gosselaar), the Federal agent who becomes her surrogate father as he tries to protect her.
Along with Heldens, Matt Reeves, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, and Adam Kassan also executive produce. Cronin will co-produce. Reeves’ 6th & Idaho and Scott’s Scott Free will produce with 20th Century Fox Television.