Following Cast, EPs Vow a Return to Basics in Hardy-centric Season 3

Joe who?

OK, OK — The Following isn’t completely forgetting Seasons 1 and 2 villain Joe Carroll — but the Fox thriller’s upcoming third go-around “launches a brand-new story” with Kevin Bacon’s flawed hero at its center, according to creator Kevin Williamson.

The upcoming run of episodes are “going to be very focused on Ryan Hardy, his character and his life,” Williamson told Michael Ausiello during a stop at TVLine’s San Diego Comic-Con interview suite.

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“We’re getting back to the roots of the pilot Kevin wrote,” added executive producer Jennifer Johnson, who’s taking over Williamson’s showrunner duties this season.

Johnson and Williamson were joined by EP Marcos Siega and cast members Jessica Stroup, Shawn Ashmore and Sam Underwood — the latter of whom was jazzed to hear that psycho twin Luke is bound to make another appearance (albeit via flashback).

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Also discussed: what might’ve taken place during the year-long time jump between Seasons 2 and 3, Max and Mike’s “magical” Season 2 kiss (and where it may lead) and why this season’s evil mastermind may take a few episodes to show him- or herself.

Press PLAY on the video at the top of the post for all the gory details.