legends of tomorrow trailer

Legends of Tomorrow is the latest show from DC Comics. They have a good track record with Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl, and producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg remain involved. Phil Klemmer is the showrunner for this one, and /Film got to sit down with him after a panel for the Television Critics Association.

Legends unites Arrowverse characters Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller), Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell), Carter Hall (Falk Hentschel), Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renee), Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh). Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) comes from the future to enlist their help catching Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), and so begins a time-traveling adventure that begins Thursday, January 21 at 8PM on The CW.

Ahead of the premiere, I sat down with Klemmer to get the details on what’s ahead for our heroes in season one and beyond. 

The first thing they say in Legends of Tomorrow is that they’re there to guard the timeline. What fun is maintaining the timeline? We all want to change something.

Oh, totally. Yeah, and it’s one of those things that’s great in theory. It’s like everybody else should be respectful of the sanctity of time, but when it comes to me, it is one of those things where you can delude yourself in being like, “You know, while I’m back in 1984, I know that I get in this horrible bicycle crash. What’s the harm in going into my garage and giving myself a flat tire?” It’s the unforeseen consequences, the butterfly effect of that flat tire means that your parents drive you to school which means you get in a head on collision that kills you both. It’s deceptive how simple it seems. We all want to make these sort of surgical tune-ups to our own timeline, but the fun is realizing that in trying to correct one thing, you can f*** a dozen things up and the things you f*** up can be so much more huge than wrecking your bike.

I’m all for learning the value of the small disaster to teach you lessons to avoid bigger disasters, but I’m not particularly interested in watching a show about preventing any changes to the timeline. I want to see you mess things up.

Oh totally, me too. That’s why we chose the legends that we did. If we wanted to do things surgically and discreetly, it would’ve been just the Rip Hunter, Ray Palmer and Professor Stein show. They would’ve gone and done all these little things. Once you let Mick Rory and Leonard Snart on the time ship, you’re opening yourself up to some messy adjustments to the timeline. The real fun is being your own worst enemy. There’s only so many times we can try to stop Vandal Savage. When we have our own guys who are destroying time, it becomes clear in episode two that we could very well destroy the world before we ever save it. To me, that’s fun because we’re our own worst enemies as opposed to just some villain that we’re trying to stop.

Is killing Savage the whole series, or could they take care of him and find a new mission?

It is the stuff of this season. Next season I honestly have no idea what it will be about but I can promise you it will resemble this season hardly at all. It’ll be a total shift in genre, perhaps tone. It’s all up for grabs. We really want to treat this as a 16-episode miniseries that leaves nothing behind. You can’t go home again. You can’t restart. It won’t be like, “Ooh, Savage got away. How are we going to stop him this year?” It’ll be totally different building blocks.

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