LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION: Dean Devlin on Finding the 'Perfect' Home for the Revival, and How the New Characters Influence the OG Team - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION: Dean Devlin on Finding the ‘Perfect’ Home for the Revival, and How the New Characters Influence the OG Team

July 6, 2021 by  


Credit: IMDb TV

When LEVERAGE ended its TNT run in 2012, executive producer Dean Devlin was proud of what they accomplished, but acknowledged it didn’t feel quite like the story was done.

“I’ve got a whole bunch of stories I would like to have told,” Devlin said at the time. “Who knows, maybe another network will want it and give me a call.”

It took a few years, but LEVERAGE is finally back on Friday, July 9 with the new IMDb TV original series LEVERAGE: REDEMPTION. (The first eight episodes of new series can be viewed for free, with limited, ads here.)

“Well, honestly, I never gave up on trying to bring the show back,” Devlin—who EPed a gaggle of projects including THE LIBRARIANS and THE OUTPOST in the time since LEVERAGE ended—says with a laugh. “I must have pitched a million different versions of the show to try and bring it back.”

“One of the problems when you move a show that’s on cable is that there’s a lot of worry about brand identity,” he continues. “Over the years, it turned out that more people have discovered LEVERAGE post-its original run than during its original run. So the whole idea of brand confusion went away.”

But with that obstacle out of the way—and revivals permeating pop culture—they had to figure out the right home. “When I heard about Amazon starting IMDb TV, my heart leapt,” Devlin admits. “I thought, ‘This is the perfect platform for LEVERAGE.’ And I came in, and we discussed the show, and they were big fans of the original. They got behind it and could not have been better partners.”

In the new series, much of the original team is back: grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf), hitter Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), and hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) have all returned to right some wrongs. And this go-round, they’re joined by two newbies, corporate lawyer Harry Wilson (Noah Wyle), who is just realizing how much damage his job did, and hacker/Hardison’s foster sister Breanna Casey (Aleyse Shannon).

“Noah Wyle just slid into this show like a suit that was made for him,” Devlin gushes. “I mean, it was amazing. From the very first cast table reading, it was like he had always been on the show. So, he brings in a new character, someone who had been working for the wrong side for a long time, and needs redemption. In order to move forward in his life, he needs to make up for the terrible things he’s done. And as a corporate fixer, he’s done a lot of bad things.”

“On the other hand, we’ve also got Breanna, played by Aleyse Shannon, and she brings a really fresh perspective for us because she’s from a much younger generation,” he continues. “She’s a lesbian. She looks at the world completely differently than our team, and it’s really this kind of fresh perspective that fires the team up again into thinking about things in ways that they’ve never thought about before.”

And while the show feels like vintage LEVERAGE, living on a streaming platform, and having the spine of the story be rooted in redemption for Harry, allowed the writers to play with a different tools in the revival.

“If you go back to your favorite restaurant that you haven’t been to a long time, and they’ve changed the recipe, it can be really disappointing,” Devlin says. “So we wanted it to feel and satisfy in the way the original did. But at the same time, we needed a new engine. Because the engine of revenge, from the original show, this idea of a crusade, really did play itself out over 77 episodes and resolved itself really well. So by having this new engine of redemption, we were able to have something that drove the show forward in a really kind of new and positive way, and yet maintain all the favorite ingredients of the original recipe.”

Also new? The show’s location. After spending much of the original production run in Portland, Oregon, REDEMPTION was filmed on location in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“New Orleans has such an interesting and rich history,” Devlin says. “And it’s always thought of as a city that’s been one foot in the criminal world and one foot that’s been in legitimate things. Just that rich history and the amazing locations, that alone would have been reason enough [to enjoy filming there]. But then on top of it, you have this population who has been really hit hard by COVID, in a horrible way. They were so grateful to have work, and work that was trying to be created in a safe way as possible. So we had the most remarkable team of people working on the show, just putting their heart and soul in it, in a way that was so noble and inspiring.”

With the show on the verge of returning, Devlin is optimistic the fans will once again embrace the rag-tag team of misfits who charmed viewers for years during the initial run.

“Even though this is a new show, and it has some new characters in it, what we found in testing and the places we’ve showed it, is that the people who love the original show really seem to respond to the show,” he says. “It is all the things that you loved about the original, but I think that these new elements really are going to kick it up to a whole other level, especially when you get to the back eight. So, jump on the train again, and I promise you the fun train is going to be running full-speed.”



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