The Man in the High Castle‘s behind-the-scenes intrigue — which rival its on-screen ones — didn’t even get a passing mention during the Amazon series’ panel at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday.
In May, showrunner Frank Spotnitz abruptly exited the drama amid a difference of opinion with Amazon regarding his involvement in Season 2. The Vancouver-shot drama quickly went into hiatus, with other members of the production team scrambling to fill the EP’s duties.
At the time, Amazon released this statement:
Given the ambition and scope of the series, the decision has been made to locate all creative efforts on The Man in the High Castle to the west coast; Frank Spotnitz will remain as an executive producer and step back from showrunner. His responsibilities will be managed by our deep and talented bench of producers. We are enormously grateful to him for bringing our customers on one of the most watched original shows on Amazon Video and we are excited about the team’s vision for Season 2.
The Comic-Con panel was the first time, aside from some brief, positive remarks Spotnitz made about the show made at a For Your Consideration Emmy event in Hollywood later in May, the cast and production team had an opportunity to discuss what had happened. But the topic didn’t come up.
Instead, executive producers Isa Dick Hackett, David Zucker and Dan Percival, as well as cast members Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank, DJ Qualls, Bella Heathcote, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Rufus Sewell took part in a discussion that stuck to previewing the drama’s upcoming second season. A few highlights:
* The series will continue to use Philip K. Dick’s novel as a “spiritual guide,” Dick said, and some content not tackled in Season 1 will show up in coming episodes. Also: “I can say we will meet the Man in the High Castle this season,” she said.
* The Man in the High Castle is currently shooting Episode 7 of 10 in Vancouver.
* When asked for an update on where her character, Juliana Crain, is in what the series is currently shooting, Davalos said, “She’s having to be a chameleon in order to survive.” When pressed, the actress said that the reluctant rebel finds herself in “seriously compromising circumstances” and added, “She’s in a very surprising place at the moment… things have taken a turn.”
* A sneak peek of an upcoming episode showed Juliana escaping from the trunk of a moving vehicle, then dodging bullets as she tried to make her way to safety.
* How about that season-ending scene in which Tagomi appeared to shift into the timeline that we know? “It will be answered more thoroughly in the second season,” Tagawa promised. And in case you needed a little more clarity, Hackett added: “Tagomi did not have a dream at the end of that last episode.”
* A common question regarding the series’ first season — what’s going on in other parts of the world? — will be addressed in Season 2, but just a little. Percival noted that the action will travel to Berlin, where we’ll meet Heathcote’s character; a plan to explore a North Africa storyline was nixed because the EPs wanted to be more “methodical” with the pace of the narrative, the EP said, and take more time in the drama’s current landscape.
* Heathcote described Nicole, her character, as “a bit of a sassy, flirty Nazi” who doesn’t necessarily espouse her parents’ principles.