Super producer Lawrence Bender of Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction and An Inconvenient Truth fame helped kick off production of his new passion project, a reboot / re-imagining of the popular television show Roswell.
And right there, playing the lead male role in the show, is someone most TV fans already know and adore: Nathan Parsons.
Fresh off stints on The Originals, a spinoff of the CW’s popular Vampire Diaries, as well as an ongoing role on ABC’s mega-hit fantasy show, Once Upon a Time, Parsons is returning to the CW as Max in the new version of Roswell.
— Salvatore School (@SalvatoreSchool) March 13, 2018
👽In the original show, which, like the reboot, is based on Melinda’ Metz’s young adult book series, Roswell High, high school students discover that one of their classmates has one heck of a secret – he’s an extraterrestrial 👽
Filmed in various areas throughout California, which stood in for the show’s namesake location, Roswell gained a firm foothold in fandom and left the air in 2002 with a devoted fan-base that today is more than excited to see this new iteration of the series.
This Lawrence Bender reboot in particular has an extra layer of significance, as the lead female character’s parents are Mexican undocumented immigrants. The show is not only designed to attract viewers with its compelling story of extraterrestrials in New Mexico, but probably bring on what some see as a much-needed conversation about the treatment and status of undocumented immigrants in America.
As far as Roswell’s casting goes, It’s no accident that Parsons was cast as the male lead for the Lawrence Bender project. The Australian-born and Colorado and Texas-raised actor is a television veteran, with a long history of work starting with voice-overs as a child actor to a multi-year stint on General Hospital, where Parsons was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor.
In Roswell, Parson’s role will serve as the new show’s catalyst. In the previous version of Roswell, which aired on The WB and later, UPN, mainly focused on high school students slowly uncovering the fact that some of their peers are actual aliens who crashed to earth during the mysterious Roswell UFO incident.
The new pilot of Roswell takes a different track, with the lead actress, Jeanine Mason, discovering that Parsons, a police officer who was once her high school crush, is an extraterrestrial. Mason, of Grey’s Anatomy fame, has to help Parson’s character Max keep his special abilities a secret, while the pair explore where Max came from.
As the star-crossed lovers delve deeper into how Parsons came to be — and where he originated from — they face a hostile government cover-up designed to hide any trace of extraterrestrials on earth. Max, who has been keeping his abilities under wraps for years, is suddenly in danger thanks to this aggressive, violent group of government representatives determined to cover up the very existence of these extraterrestrials — at any cost.
For Parsons, the supernatural is a comfortable fit as an actor. It’s what he knows. On True Blood, he played a tormented, conflicted vampire trapped in a love triangle. Deeply intelligent, protective and compassionate, he made some very noble, moral choices on the show, which more than endeared him to True Blood’s massive audience.
From that role, he moved on to play Jackson Kenner in CW’s The Originals, one of the most high-profile roles he’s taken on since he became an actor.
As Kenner, Parsons played an evolved werewolf, who, at least at first, was cursed into keeping in his wolf form at all times, except during nights with a full moon. After the curse was broken, Kenner continued playing a pivotal role on the show, as a leader and member of the Crescent Wolf Pack.
Eventually, Kenner met his demise, leaving his wife on the show, played by actress Phoebe Tonkin, with a profound sense of grief that would haunt her as the show continued on without him.
Another signature, out-of-this-world role was Parson’s performance as Jack, based on the famous folk tale Jack and the Beanstalk, on the show Once Upon a Time. The role gave Parsons even more caché with a broad audience, and helped him leave an indelible mark on the hyper-devoted fans of the much-adored hit show.
As Parsons gears up to shoot the Roswell pilot, an unofficial Twitter account in his name communicates with fans and builds excitement for the show. One post features a table read with the cast, another a series of images from his time on other hit shows.
How new viewers and fans of the original series will take to Roswell depends on the acting, ideas, and quality of the script. However, with Lawrence Bender producing and Parson taking center stage, there’s no doubt the outcome will be positive.
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