It’s been a quarter-century since we last caught up with the citizens of Twin Peaks, Washington; following the television series’ finale in 1991, a feature-length prequel, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, was released in theaters. But on May 21, 2017, fans of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s wacky little neo-noir will get a new installment of the series, with many of the original actors returning. Though most of the juicy details about the series remain under wraps, here’s what we do know about the new season of Twin Peaks.
1. THE SERIES WILL PICK UP 25 YEARS LATER.
Though virtually no information has been leaked about what to expect, story-wise, from the new season, we do know that the show will take place in the present day—picking up 25 years later from where the original series ended. But whether or not it will explain the season two finale’s cliffhanger is anyone’s guess. According to Entertainment Weekly:
“[The] official word from Lynch—clearly the lead creative pilot on the revival—is that you shouldn’t assume anything about what you’ll see on screen. He won’t even confirm that the original cast will actually be playing their original characters in any real way, except for one: Kyle MacLachlan will reprise his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper. Lynch himself will be in it, playing Cooper’s boss Gordon Cole, or some version of him. ‘Gordon is a fantastic person,’ is all Lynch will say about the character. What’s it like directing himself? Lynch laughs. ‘Gordon doesn’t need much direction,’ he says.
When asked to divulge any more details at a press conference, Lynch simply said: “I’m really not at liberty to talk about that.”
“Twin Peaks is a cosmology,” David Nevins, Showtime’s president and CEO, told Entertainment Weekly for its recent cover story on the show's comeback. “What I think is satisfying about the new version is that it’s a deeper exploration of that stuff. What is the red room? How does the red room work? Where is Agent Cooper? Can he make it back?”
2. MANY OF THE ORIGINAL ACTORS WILL BE BACK.
Twin Peaks wouldn’t be Twin Peaks without a coffee-loving Agent Dale Cooper, so getting Kyle MacLachlan on board was pretty much key. In addition to MacLachlan, many of the original series’ main cast members will be back, including Sheryl Lee (Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson), Sherilyn Fenn (Audrey Horne), Mädchen Amick (Shelly Johnson), Dana Ashbrook (Bobby Briggs), Ray Wise (Leland Palmer), Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Lawrence Jacoby), and Everett McGill (Big Ed Hurley).
Sadly, quite a few of the original series’ major characters aren’t listed as part of the cast, including Lara Flynn Boyle (Donna Hayward), Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Harry S. Truman), Michael J. Anderson (The Man from Another Place), Robert Bauer (Johnny Horne), Joan Chen (Josie Packard), Eric Da Re (Leo Johnson), Mary Jo Deschanel (Eileen Hayward), Heather Graham (Annie Blackburn), and Piper Laurie (Catherine Martell). Though, this being a Lynch production, there could be cameos.
3. MIGUEL FERRER WILL BE IN IT.
Miguel Ferrer, who passed away on January 19, will appear in the new season. Upon news of his death, Deadline reported that, “Ferrer was among the first actors signed for the new series, on which he is reprising his role as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield from the groundbreaking original drama.”
4. THE LOG LADY IS BACK, TOO.
Similarly, Catherine E. Coulson—who played The Log Lady—had already completed filming her scenes for the new series when she passed away on September 28, 2015. Coulson was one of Lynch’s closest longtime collaborators; she originally worked as an assistant director on 1977’s Eraserhead. It was on the set of that film—a full 40 years ago—that the two began discussing The Log Lady character.
“Today I lost one of my dearest friends, Catherine Coulson,” Lynch said in a statement following Coulson’s death. “Catherine was solid gold. She was always there for her friends—she was filled with love for all people—for her family—for her work. She was a tireless worker. She had a great sense of humor—she loved to laugh and make people laugh. She was a spiritual person—a longtime TM meditator. She was the Log Lady.”
5. THE CAST IS HUGE!
If you thought it was difficult to keep track of the original Twin Peaks cast, get ready for even more characters. Last April, Showtime unveiled the new season’s full cast, and it’s a long list; the new season will feature a total of 217 actors, most of whom don’t even have a name yet. (Like we said, Lynch isn’t big on giving away details.)
6. THERE ARE QUITE A FEW HEAVY-HITTERS AMONG THE “NEW” FACES.
Though neither Lynch nor Frost—nor Showtime, for that matter—has released much information about the new cast of characters, there are plenty of A-listers (and regular Lynch collaborators) among the newcomers. Among the “new” faces you’ll see in this season: Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Tim Roth, Robert Forster, Monica Bellucci, Eddie Vedder, Ashley Judd, David Koechner, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Amanda Seyfried, Tom Sizemore, Jeremy Davies, Ana de la Reguera, Trent Reznor, Jim Belushi, Patrick Fischler, Ernie Hudson, and Balthazar Getty.
By MacLachlan’s calculation, the cast kept growing because of the impact the original series had on viewers. “I would hear stories from them about how they were heavily influenced by Twin Peaks, and so they wanted to be part of the new series, even if it was just one day of shooting,” MacLachlan told Entertainment Weekly. “For others, it was about working with David because he is so phenomenal. It just kept growing.”
7. DAVID DUCHOVNY’S TRANSGENDER DEA AGENT IS COMING BACK, TOO.
Before The X-Files made him a star, David Duchovny played transgender DEA agent Dennis/Denise Bryson, an old friend of Agent Cooper, who is called in to assist with his investigation. The photos released via Entertainment Weekly show that Denise will return.
8. THE NEW SEASON WILL BE 18 EPISODES LONG.
Though it was originally announced as a nine-episode limited series, the final tally ended up being twice as long. “I think when [Lynch] did the nine, he realized he needed nine more to really complete it,” Sherilyn Fenn revealed while discussing the new season at Seattle Crypticon in 2015.
9. YOU’LL BE ABLE TO WATCH THE FIRST FOUR HOURS ON PREMIERE NIGHT.
While the official premiere, on Sunday, May 21, will be two hours long, once that concludes, Showtime will make episodes two and three immediately available to subscribers on demand. So if you want to spend four hours with the new series on premiere night, you can.
10. LYNCH AND FROST WILL BE MAKING EVERY EPISODE.
Whereas the writing and directing duties were handed off to other people during Twin Peaks’s original two-season run, Lynch and Frost are totally in control of the new series. Lynch directed every episode this time around, and Frost co-wrote each episode.
11. ANGELO BADALAMENTI IS DOING THE MUSIC AGAIN.
Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting music is one of Twin Peaks’s most memorable elements, and the composer will be back to set the background for the new series, too.
12. YOU’LL SEE LOTS OF FAMILIAR LOCATIONS.
Just like the cast, lots of the original locations—including Twede’s Cafe in North Bend, Washington, which plays the part of the Double R Diner—will be utilized for the new series. But it will move beyond Twin Peaks, too. “It takes place all over the country,” Nevins said. “Twin Peaks is an important locus, but it’s not the only locus.” Rumor has it that some shooting was done in Paris as well.
13. IT MAY NOT BE AS R-RATED AS YOU THINK.
While Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me took the Twin Peaks mythology in a decidedly R-rated direction, Lynch’s approach to the new series didn’t seem to change much just because it’s airing on a pay cable network. “He is taking advantage of cable freedoms and there are moments of very strong material, but David’s pretty clean,” Nevins told Entertainment Weekly. “There’s darkness and there’s scariness, but a lot less cursing and probably somewhat less nudity than most of our other programming. Definitely a lot less cursing … Part [of] what defines David as such an entertaining filmmaker is he’s got such a range of tones. It’s funny, it’s dramatic, it’s emotional, it’s shocking, and occasionally it’s violent, but a lot of times the violence is more implied than shown. That’s one of the things I really like about the show, there’s just such a satisfying range of tones. I don’t like things that are one thing. I like things that are lots of things.”
14. DON’T EXPECT TO LEARN MUCH MORE UNTIL THE SERIES PREMIERES.
Lynch and Frost have done a remarkable job keeping the lid on Twin Peaks so far—and Lynch, for one, wants to keep it that way until the new season premieres. “Twin Peaks is a mystery that holds other mysteries,” Lynch told Entertainment Weekly, adding: “People want to know right up until they know, and then they don’t care. It’s really beautiful and you go into another world not knowing what you’re going to find.”
15. IT COULD BE THE END OF TWIN PEAKS ALTOGETHER—OR NOT …
Though the new season has been promoted as a one-off event series, when asked about whether season three might lead to season four or another movie, Lynch—cryptic as ever—replied, "In another life, yes." When further pressed on whether it could happen in this life he said, "Like I say, you never say never."