*ABC has adapted Jason Mott’s critically acclaimed book “The Returned” into a series titled the “Resurrection,” but fans of the literary version need to prepare for a number of major changes.
The midseason drama focuses on Jacob (Landon Gimenez), a dead 8-year-old boy who comes back to life more than three decades later – still 8-years-old – and makes his way back to his now elderly parents, who are left slack jawed to say the least.
Omar Epps stars as immigration agent Martin Bellamy, who brings the boy back to his home in Arcadia, Missouri after he suddenly pops up, alive, in China. He says his parents are Harold (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Garland (Frances Fisher). They, however, say their son died 32 years ago in a drowning.
For fans anticipating a dramatization of the book, or even an American version of the French series that aired recently on The Sundance Channel, just let those expectations go now.
“That book was obviously the impetus for the series, but it was very much just a starting off point,” executive producer Aaron Zelman said Friday at ABC’s Television Critics Association press tour. “You probably notice that half the characters in the show are not in that book. I and the executives I developed the show with invented half the characters for the show because we knew it would need more of an engine for the series going four, five, six, seven years.”
“I have never seen ‘The Returned,’” added co-executive producer Michele Fazekas of the acclaimed French series based on the book . “We knew about it when we came on to the project so we deliberately avoided it. I didn’t want it to unduly influence what the writers do.”
The Returned marks the first novel for Mott, an African American poet and author based in North Carolina. Below, Epps talks about his conversations with Mott, and the author’s suggestion in a past interview that he was the inspiration for Epps’ character.
“Resurrection,” developed by Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B, premieres Sunday, March 9 at 9 p.m. on ABC. The network has an eight-episode Season 1 order, as a limited series.