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ABC Picks Up 'The Returned' - Now Called 'Resurrection' + First Look (Omar Epps, Jason Mott)

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
May 11, 2013 1:25 PM
16 Comments
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Here's another one that we missed, likely because its title was changed. 

ABC picked up The Returned, which is now officially titled Resurrection, which is said to be one of Paul Lee's, the president of ABC Entertainment’s favorite pilots; so that's a good sign, right?

In March, Omar Epps landed the top role in the serial adaptation of author Jason Mott's debut novel, The Returned.

You might recall the December announcement that Mott's novel had been optioned by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company, with the goal being to develop a TV drama series for ABC, based on the "high concept" novel.

In light of conversations we've had on this site about the dearth of novels by black authors optioned and adapted for the screen (big or small) here in the USA, and in this case by a high profile, A-lister like Brad Pitt, it didn't take much coaxing to get me to act on the opportunity to interview Jason Mott, while I still could, before he becomes one of the so-called "untouchables" in Hollywood, when it would become a challenge to reach him.

Jason Mott

Thankfully, Jason obliged when I inquired about an interview, which took place before the holidays, and which I was posted in early January HERE, if you missed it.

The novel, The Returned, won't be published until September 2013, so I obviously haven't read it, and I'm guessing no one else as - well, except for those who are involved in the TV adaptation of it. 

There was reportedly a bidding war for the rights to the novel, among several production companies and studios, suggesting that it's a strong, commercial, high concept work that will translate well to the screen.

So what's The Returned about? Here's its short synopsis:

A family gets caught up in a worldwide event in which loved ones return from the dead exactly as they last were in life. Lucille and Harold Hargrave wonder: Is their dead eight-year-old son’s return a miracle or an impending sign of something horrible? 

Omar Epps will star as Martin Bellamy, who's described as:

... an agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He's a former cop who joined ICE when he got involved with a case involving the trafficking of children. He's empathetic with a soft spot for kids -- despite not having a family of his own -- and is fascinated by Jacob (newcomer Landon Gimenez), a mysterious boy who popped up from nowhere in the middle of rural China.

Epps will lead a cast that includes Kurtwood Smith, Devin Kelley, Matt Craven, Frances Fisher, Sam Hazeldine, Samaire Armstrong, Nicholas Gonzalez and Mark Hildreth.

Criminal Minds' Aaron Zelman wrote the pilot, which was directed by Charles McDougall (House of CardsThe Good Wife).

Congrats to Mr Mott, Mr Epps and the rest of the cast and crew on the pick-up! I'm certainly looking forward to seeing this.


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16 Comments

  • Mags | April 2, 2014 3:34 PMReply

    The returned tv show Resurection is very well done so far, and the book basicly more of a spirtual rather than horror, even though I am a King's fan for most of his books.
    did not see the french version but why put down our american version before it even started.
    Omar Epps is a great actor, glad to see him back on TV, after his show with House.

  • Jaimie | March 15, 2014 11:34 PMReply

    I overall enjoyed the first show. Some details bothered me though. Why did the Chinese government call the US customs to get the child if he never spoke? And no only did they not feed , bath. or change his clothes before customs came to get him. but the little boy stays in the same clothes the entire show.... No one is certain that this kid is american. but Omar Epps boss continues to tell him the kids is a ward of the federal government..... I would hope if a real incident like this happened, childreb wouldnt be so quickly pawnex off to some othef government..... I couldnt imagine finding a child who appears chinese amd having that child immediately rurned over to Chin's custom agents....

  • Susan | January 19, 2014 10:46 PMReply

    The Returned is wonderful. I'm sure we'll screw it up. So much for subtleties. In our (american) version they'll have to blow things up every 15 minutes. Oh, and let's not forget gore!

  • Dan | November 22, 2013 3:33 PMReply

    I'm confused... from everything I've read online, including this article, there appears to be no mention of its ties to the French series "The Returned" on The Sundance Channel. I thought "Resurrection" was based on that series. But "The Returned" is actually an adaptation of a 2004 French film called "They Came Back," and "Resurrection" is based on a book called "The Returned" that is completely independent from the French series and film.

    I'm thoroughly confused, as I thought the two television series were synonymous with each other considering they have the exact same story.

  • Ami | December 25, 2013 10:10 PM

    Stephen King also has a short story called Sometimes They Come Back. Could this be the same? I love The Returned, and if this show is supposed to be an American adaptation, then they have already failed, in my opinion.

  • Ami | December 25, 2013 10:09 PM

    Stephen King also has a short story called Sometimes They Come Back. Could this be the same? I love The Returned, and if this show is supposed to be an American adaptation, then they have already failed, in my opinion.

  • Janeen | October 18, 2013 4:19 PMReply

    This looks like is going to be a great show! So happy for Omar to be on another upcoming hit Primetime show and can't wait to pick up Jason's book....I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS SHOW!

  • Amber | June 29, 2013 7:00 PMReply

    The French version is soo well done, I doubt anyone else will do better.
    Are you KIDDING me with Omar Epps?! Horrible actor and just leads me
    to believe this is just another series America will adapt only to screw it up, ugh...
    why do they always mess with a good thing?!

  • Mary | June 22, 2013 10:40 AMReply

    I missed the first episodes of The Returned how do I catch up with this programme.
    Thanks Mary

  • lilkunta | May 11, 2013 7:17 PMReply

    ___A family gets caught up in a worldwide event in which loved ones return from the dead exactly as they last were in life. Lucille and Harold Hargrave wonder: Is their dead eight-year-old son’s return a miracle or an impending sign of something horrible? ___
    .........hmm ppl return exactly as they were? we already had this show . it was on USA. it is called "the 4400" . it was on from 2004-2007.

  • Nancy | March 8, 2014 6:48 PM

    Thanks for saying this! I just saw the previews for this show and thought the same thing! I am JUST now watching The 4400 on Netflix.

  • Gigi Young | May 11, 2013 6:28 PMReply

    It's been read by hoi polloi. Copies were given away on Goodreads, and I'm sure it will pop up on NetGalley to be reviewed by book bloggers and librarians in the coming months.

  • Thatstlphoenix | May 11, 2013 2:25 PMReply

    But like...Omar is standing in the middle looking like a grain of pepper in a sea of salt. That erks me. Can casting do better please dang.

  • Kay | July 18, 2013 12:13 PM

    The main focus is the series! And why be erked because he is the only "pepper" among the cast? That's ground breaking to be an African American lead on ABC. Lets look at the positive and move forward. Salt, pepper, whatever.. it's going to be a great show!

  • Thatstlphoenix | May 11, 2013 8:57 PM

    How about you and your salty comment woosigh and get over yourself Stephen, troll elsewhere. As I said, it still irks me and Omar still is standing in a middle of salt. Awesome it is, I never had issue with the storyline , who wrote it, etc., but you would have realized that had you not got on your high horse and jumped stupid. Good day with you on that. I called it as I see it, latino or not, Omar still looks like he's standing in a field of salt. :)

  • Stephen | May 11, 2013 3:07 PM

    That's your best comment? C'mon man. It "erks" you. It's an amazing cast and I think Mr. Gonzalez would not qualify as "salt" now would he? How about "moca"? How about we just worry about how awesome this series is gonna be.

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