PaleyFest 2014: ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Cast & Creator Interviews
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Photo Credit: Kevin Parry for Paley Center for Media
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman created “Sleepy Hollow” with Phillip Iscove and Len Wiseman. They are the screenwriting and producing duo behind Star Trek, Transformers and “Fringe.” They seemed to appreciate how in tune with “Sleepy Hollow” we are from the questions we asked.
Did you always know that – –
Bob Orci: Yes.
You know what I’m going to ask.
Bob Orci: We always knew that Henry (John Noble) was going to be the villain. We always knew it.
And the second Horseman?
Bob Orci: And the second Horseman, the Horseman of War no less.
So what does that mean going forward?
Bob Orci: It means a heck of a weird family dynamic.
Alex Kurtzman: Yeah, it means that war has now come to Sleepy Hollow, so next season is going to be all about war. Obviously Abbie and Crane, hopefully they’ll survive what happened to them. If they do survive what happened to them, they’re going to be pretty angry.
Bob Orci: And yet also how will war prey on their weakness? It is mom and dad after all, so what happens when your kid is a bad little kid who is older than you and who is War?
Are you writing any of the season two scripts?
Bob Orci: Yes.
How many and which ones?
Bob Orci: Whichever one they invite us to do.
Alex Kurtzman: We’re actually breaking everything right now.
Bob Orci: It’s a great writers room. We all come up with the stories together and then we don’t want to hog everything.
How long do you think before we can get Captain Irving out of jail?
Alex Kurtzman: That’s a good question.
Bob Orci: It’ll take a minute because he’s protecting his daughter and he’s got a big interest in not fessing up that his daughter, in a sense, even though she was possessed, committed murder. So he will go anywhere to protect his daughter obviously and that’s not going to be an easy moment for him. He’s going to suffer a lot. Have you told Orlando that?
Alex Kurtzman: I think Orlando just presumes that.
Bob Orci: Okay, good.
He’s starting a campaign to get out.
Bob Orci: It’s not going to work.
Going forward, is Ichabod more concerned with saving his wife or redeeming his son?
Alex Kurzman: Great question! Nice question. You’re all over it today.
Bob Orci: What would you do? What do you do when your wife wants to redeem your son and maybe is willing to die to do it and yet you love your wife and of course you love your son? We’ve got to figure that out. Thanks for that homework.
How does it change the dynamic of Abbie, Ichabod and Katrina to bring Jenny into the mix?
Bob Orci: Jenny and Abbie are not related to these people so they may have a slightly different viewpoint. They are family, Jenny and Abbie, just like Katrina and Crane and Jeremy are family so there’s two families here now who have to figure out how they’re going to interact with each other. What are their responsibilities to each other? And they may come out on different sides of things.
Photo Credit: Michael Bulbenko for Paley Center for Media
“Sleepy Hollow” was the second pilot Len Wiseman directed after “Hawaii Five-O,” also with Kurtzman and Orci. The bulk of his work was in features with the Underworld series, Live Free or Die Hard and the Total Recall remake. It seems he’s not done with “Sleepy Hollow” just yet.
Are you coming back to direct any episodes in the second season?
Len Wiseman: I may be. We’re actually talking about schedule right now in terms of other things that I have going on, and I would love to. I’m so drawn to it. It’s just a lot of fun.
You’re developing a movie, so would the episode have to fall early or late in the season?
Len Wiseman: It would have to be early in the season before I get just entrenched. I’m trying to work it out to jump in a little bit early.
Since you created the pilot, what developments were you most gratified to see later in the first season?
Len Wiseman: Later, John Noble’s character I think was something that was really impressive to me in terms of the kind of character he became. I was just saying, one of the highlights for me was seeing, Ken [Olin]’s episode, pulling off capturing the Headless Horseman. That was very gratifying to see.
What is your input in discussions as far as what direction it’s going to go in the second season?
Len Wiseman: It’s ongoing. It’s immense. We lock ourselves into a room and we’ve been going over the second season since actually we wrapped up. We haven’t really taken that much of a hiatus, so I’m very involved. It’s a genre that we really like so it doesn’t feel like work. It doesn’t really work.
Is there anything you’re specifically pushing for to happen?
Len Wiseman: Yes, definitely. I want to make sure that we keep the villain quotient and the threat that respects and upholds the genre. I think we really established the Headless Horseman. He’s such a presence, I want to make sure that we try to top that and that people don’t look back to season one and think, “Remember when we had the coolest villain ever?” I don’t want them to think that. I want them to continue to go through this series and realize he’s just one of their favorite characters.