“Returned” is a highly anticipated remake of the French drama “Les Revenants,” revolving around the upheaval caused by the return of people who were thought to be dead. A&E brought the project to Cuse, who said he was “utterly captivated” by the possibilities for a U.S. rendition.
The show’s concept bears strong resemblance to ABC’s drama “Resurrection.” Cuse emphasized that he he and exec producer Raelle Tucker made a point of not watching that show as they dove into “Returned” because “it wouldn’t have been good for our creative process,” he said.
Cuse and Tucker also addressed the room’s comparison of “Les Revenants” and “The Returned” to Fox’s redo of ITV’s “Broadchurch” and as “Gracepoint,” which was deemed a paler version of the original.
Cuse pointed out that the French “Revenants” only spans eight episodes so while it plants the seed for his version, “the show going forward will be wholly original.”
Tucker added, “I do think that their performances are quite different than the original French series. Over episodes, you’ll see how those characters are quite different and shift a lot.”
The cast of “Returned” — Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mark Pelligrino, Sadrine Holt, Jeremy Sisto and India Ennenga — seemed to impress the TCA troops with their take on the show. It’s described as more cerebral and far less gory than AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
The main characters have very different reactions to the shock of seeing loved ones return from the dead, Sisto said.
“The human mind and system is a pretty amazing thing and can hide the truth from you, until you can deal with it in different ways,” he said.
“A lot of these people, they want to believe that their loved ones have come back,” said Holt. “You basically believe what you want to believe and that adds to the reaction.”
Cuse and Tucker are exec producers of A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America.
“Bates Motel” (pictured) is exec produced by Cuse and Kerry Ehrin for Universal TV.