After Years of Speculation, A 'Lost' Reboot Might Be in the Works

Dan Clarendon
Lost Reboot
ABC

We have to go back? Ten years after the Lost castaways “moved on together” in the emotional series finale, the ABC drama may be pulling a John Locke and getting a second life.

According to We Got This Covered sources, discussions about a Lost reboot are afoot. Nothing is final, the site cautions, but the prospective reboot would be “more mature” and would likely crash-land on a streaming service.

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This report might seem like a baseless rumor, but the same sources previously teased that the Transformers film franchise was getting rebooted and that Ahsoka Tano would be a part of The Mandalorian Season 2, and in both cases, the scoop seems to have proven accurate.

Talk of a Lost reboot has circulated for years, though ABC is usually mentioned as the new version's home. “I think it’s likely that at some point, ABC will want to reboot Lost because it’s a valuable franchise, and there will be some young, bright writer or writers who will come up with a great idea that the network responds to, and that’ll be great,” Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse speculated in a 2014 Entertainment Weekly interview.

In 2017, showrunner Damon Lindelof told the magazine he hopes any Lost reboot would focus on new characters. “Carlton and I always said that we welcome any future crack at the [intellectual property]. Lost was bigger than us and bigger than [co-creator] J.J. [Abrams]. There’s something really exciting about the fact that George Lucas sold the Star Wars universe and now the people who grew up watching it are making it. Maybe the same thing could be said for Lost.”

A year later, then-ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey revealed to TVLine that the network hadn’t had any “official discussions” about rebooting Lost but that the idea is “on a list of 'wouldn’t that be great if…’”

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Dungey left her ABC post in late 2018, and her successor, Karey Burke, enthused about a Lost update just months later. “Yes, I would like that very much,” Burke said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in February 2019. “That is a reboot I would be interested in seeing.”

At the time, we covered the widespread backlash to the prospect. “You can’t recreate the hype around Lost, at least not around a reboot of the series,” wrote The Mary Sue’s Kate Gardner. “That phenomenon usually occurs around a new show that captures the zeitgeist in a fresh, unique way.”

Jean Higgins, who was an executive producer on the show, agrees. “I don’t know if you could do it again,” she told Observer this May. “It’s lightning in a bottle … Leave it alone. Let it be what it was. It was fabulous, it was wonderful. It was, I think, life-changing for a number of people.”

And much like her character, Kate Austen, actress Evangeline Lilly doesn’t want to return to the island. “For the most part, I don’t usually love [reboots],” she told EW in 2018. “I feel like it’s just tainting something that’s precious. I’ve said I don’t want to do things in the past and I’ve done them—you know, never say never—but sitting where I am today, my assumption is no.”

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A Lost reboot could serve as a worthy successor to the Emmy-winning series. The most recent Star Trek film series, another entry on J.J. Abrams’ filmography, cleverly introduced an alternate timeline to both pay homage to, and free itself from, the Star Trek canon. An innovative storyteller might be able to do the same for Lost, but it’d be a tall order.

If it’s any consolation for puristic Losties, at least it’s a reboot that’s reportedly in the discussions stage, not a revival. The original Lost was divisive, but for all of its perceived flaws, it told a complete story, ending with the very finite “The End.” A successor would have to forge into new territory instead of retreading the past and trying to redo the original mysteries. Take it from Daniel Faraday: Whatever happened, happened.