Severance Has Been In The Making For A Very Long Time [Comic-Con]

Good things come to those who wait, but for "Severance" creator Dan Erickson, his wait resulted in greatness. The addictive and harrowing science-fiction workplace thriller has been one of the most talked-about shows of 2022, nabbing 14 Emmy nominations including Outstanding Drama Series and acting nods for Adam Scott, John Turturro, Christopher Walken, and Patricia Arquette. The show was rightfully and quickly reviewed for a second season, and praise Kier Eagan for that because the season finale ended on an unbelievable cliffhanger eliciting viewers from across the globe to throw their hands in the air and scream "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!" 

In an official statement regarding the show's release, Stiller noted, "It has been a long road bringing 'Severance' to television." The 2022 show seems like a recipe for an instant hit no matter the time or place, but the journey to get "Severance" on screen has been a long one.

Stiller first read Erickson's pilot over five years ago, right around the time the script ended up on The Bloodlist. You may be familiar with The Black List — the end-of-year list of the best unproduced scripts that made the rounds. Well, The Bloodlist follows a similar format but exclusively highlights projects in the thriller, science-fiction, horror, dark comedy, dark fantasy, and psychological drama genres. "Severance" is about a team of office workers who have their memories surgically severed between their work life and personal lives, which sounds, as Patton Oswalt described it at the "Severance" Comic-Con panel, like "the greatest Phillip K. Dick novel never written."

The original pilot was even weirder

San Diego Comic-Con has been celebrating all things "Severance" in a very big way, with fans even allowed to go through their own Lumon Industries severed orientation. You know, for the people who really want an existential crisis to go with their convention festivities. /Film's own Jeremy Mathai was at the "Severance" panel today, and Dan Erickson talked about the process of getting the show on screen, and how much it has evolved since that first pilot script. "The original version of the pilot had Mark waking up and Helly was more like the seasoned person who comes in and is sort of, almost like an older sibling character," he said. "And we switched it around for various reasons but yeah, there were a lot of differences between there and here."

Stiller commented that the script was even weirder if that can be believed. "Yeah, I think the original was a little more like, acid trippy, than even what it is," Erickson said. "At one point there was a pair of disembodied legs that ran by ... and then the legs didn't make the cut." The crowd couldn't help but laugh at the idea, which may sound odd on paper but hey, so does the "Waffle Party" and we all know how that turned out.

Season 1 of "Severance" is available to stream on Apple TV+.