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The NBC drama series Manifest tells the story of what happened to the passengers and crew of Montego Air Flight 828, after they survive a very turbulent flight, but land safely, only to find out that more than five years have passed and their families, friends and colleagues have all aged, in that time. They quickly realize that they’ve all been given a second chance, but the mystery of why and how has no easy answers.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, creator/showrunner Jeff Rake talked about how the idea for Manifest has evolved since he first came up with it, 10 years ago, his six-year plan for the series, putting together a diverse and inclusive writers’ room, how much the series is a family drama vs. how much it will be forwarding the mythology, whether all of these mysterious missions for the passengers are being done for good reasons, whether viewers should be paying attention to the little details, and the challenges of being a showrunner on a TV series. Be aware that there are some spoilers discussed.
Collider - Idea - Years - Plan - Did
Collider: You’ve talked about how you came up with this idea 10 years ago, and that you also had a six-year plan for it. Did you have all of that, at the time that you first came up with it, or have you been developing it in your head, over all this time?
JEFF RAKE: A little of both. That is the true origin story. I landed this idea over a decade ago and, at that time, I always knew the end game. When I originally hit on the concept, I knew the beginning. I knew that I wanted this to be about a separated family and throwing at them the most tantalizing, impossible obstacle conceivable, in order to tear them apart and...
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