David Lynch released a cast list of 217 names today for the upcoming revival of Twin Peaks, stirring excitement for what the writer/director could possibly have planned for this trip back to his strange little town. (Does the 201 on that “Welcome to Twin Peaks” sign look like it’s been recently changed to you?)
Of the original cast Kyle McLaughlin and Sheryl Lee were previously announced as returning series regulars, and Peggy Lipton, Everett McGill, Warren Frost, and Sherilynn Fenn will make guest appearances. Balthazar Getty, Dana Ashbrook, and Amanda Seyfriend have joined as new series leads.
The rest of the cast list reads like a who’s who of TV past and present, with names ranging from Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Juno) and Matthew Lillard (Bosch, Scooby-Doo) to Grant Goodeve (Eight is Enough) and Meg Foster (Cagney & Lacey). So what does Lynch have up his sleeve? What could possibly put Eddie Vedder, Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl), and Tom Sizemore (Hawaii Five-O) in proximity to Monica Bellucci (Spectre), Jim Belushi (According to Jim), and Trent Reznor (and his wife, Mariqueen Reznor)?
Other interesting names include Jeremy Davies (Lost), Robert Knepper (Prison Break), Harry Dean Stanton (Big Love, Gunsmoke), Laura Dern (The Fault in our Stars), and Clark Middleton (The Blacklist, Fringe). With a few exceptions, almost all of the recognizable actors on the list are known as strong character actors, which fits Lynch’s quirky style. We can expect some scenery-chewing. Lynch is also giving himself a bit part.
All the information we have from the production, which just wrapped principal photography, is that the new series picks up twenty-five years after the inhabitants of a Twin Peaks, WA were stunned when their homecoming queen Laura Palmer was shockingly murdered.
When the first episodes of Twin Peaks hit the air in 1989 critics were supportive, hailing Lynch’s style as a welcome alternative to prime time dramas like MacGyver and The Young Riders. It aired opposite Cheers on Thursday nights, yet still managed to hold a strong second place audience for the first season. But after the initial mystery – who killed Laura Palmer? – was solved, the show was unfocused, and viewers drifted away.
The series’ influence on pop culture and its impact on future TV shows was undeniable, though. Any mood-heavy shows thats heavily influenced by character interaction (The X-Files, The Sopranos, American Horror Story) owes a debt to Twin Peaks. Carlton Cuse even joked during a panel discussion that Peaks, not Psycho, was the inspiration for Bates Motel, “We pretty much ripped of Twin Peaks. I loved that show. They only did 30 episodes. Kerry [Ehrin] and I thought we’d do the 70 that are missing.”
The Twin Peaks continuation will drop on Showtime sometime in 2017, though we don’t have dates yet. In the meantime, enjoy perusing this epic cast list. Is there any name that you’re particularly excited to see?