Maze creator

‘Severance’ Creator Dan Erickson ‘Excited’ About Season 2

Jthe shocking finale of Breakup, season 1 spawned hundreds, if not thousands of theories. The show centers on a group of workers who volunteer to surgically isolate their office memories from their personal memories. Mysteries abound. Who are these employees when they are not in the office? Why would they be prepared to undergo such a drastic measure? Why would the company that employs them, Lumon, ask them to do this?

Many fans have understandably taken to Reddit to speculate about where this weird show is headed. Ben Stiller, who directed the first season, said during the Breakup panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday that it has yet to figure out how to access Reddit, but show creator Dan Erickson has been on the platform reading fan reactions.

“I was warned not to go on the Subreddit at all on this show, and I waited about six minutes,” Erickson said, “and then I was there every day for a while. a bit addicting.

Erickson has been working on the screenplay for ten years and Stiller has worked with him for five years. So while the story isn’t set in stone, the couple have strong ideas about where it’s headed. “It’s really interesting to see what people’s theories are and sometimes they come up with ideas that are better than what I thought,” Erickson said. “But then I backed off because it’s this idea of ​​endless options, and at some point you have to commit to what you’re doing.”

He said he even found an incredibly accurate map of the labyrinthine corridors of Lumon on the website. (During the panel, star Adam Scott said these hallways, built like a real set, were so maze-like that he often needed help getting out.)

Tramell Tillman, Jen Tullock, Dichen Lachman, Adam Scott, Britt Lower, Ben Stiller and Dan Erickson speak during the Severance panel in Room 20 at Comic-Con International 2022 held at the San Diego Convention Center on July 21 2022 in San Diego, California.

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images

No Plot Freebies For Severance Season 2

Erickson revealed that in the original pilot version, Adam Scott’s character Mark was the one who woke up in an office after being cut, and Helly (Britt Lower) was the person who came to see him. But the writer and director decided to reverse roles so that Helly becomes the estranged human who panics about the new situation after waking up from his surgery.

During the fan Q&A, someone pointed out that the men of Breakup seem happy to be apart – their office selves enjoy pursuing corporate goals and playing with finger traps. But the first woman who is separated in the series does not come out well and ends up leading a rebellion. The fan asked what Stiller and Erickson were planning to say about workplace gender differences.

“It wasn’t a direct intentional, ‘Let the first woman in the office be the one knocking over the apple cart’ thing,” Erickson said. “But once it was Helly, obviously if you bring someone into a setting that was previously one-sided, when you bring diversity into the environment, you’re going to have new ideas introduced that you will help. So this idea that it was a boys club and that Helly was an instigator of change for the better, we leaned into that.

The creative team only discussed the future of the show in general and thematic terms. Stiller said the question of how much “innie” versions of office characters can experience their “outie” lives at home will continue to be a major area of ​​exploration. “One of the conversations we’ve had with the actors, almost in every scene, is how much what’s happening on the outside informs their insides, even if they’re not aware of it,” said he declared.

Erickson added that he wanted to give a broader sense of the world beyond Lumon’s offices.

He said he intentionally wrote about a world that differed from ours only insofar as the separation procedure existed. Future seasons will further explore the ramifications of how the personality split could affect society as a whole. “I’m excited to go into Season 2 and build the world a bit more and be able to see, with this slight adjustment to reality, what the different ramifications would be,” he said. “We didn’t want it to sound like classic science fiction. We wanted it to be much more grounded.

The writer and director kept a low profile when asked about specific plot points in Season 2. A fan asked about the baby goats who, somewhat randomly, appeared in a room. from season 1. “Is there a meaning to the goats and will it be revealed?”

Erickson simply replied, “Yeah.”

More Must-Try Stories from TIME


Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.