Julie Plec is stepping away from supernatural creatures for her next project. The "Vampire Diaries" and "Originals" executive producer brought "Containment," her new CW drama, to New York Comic Con (NYCC) on Saturday to give fans a taste of what's to come. The drama follows a city that gets quarantined after a deadly, unidentified virus starts infecting people. In addition to screening the whole first episode at NYCC, Plec attended a panel with actors Chris Wood (Jake), Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Teresa), David Gyasi (Lex) and Claudia Black (Sabine) where they teased what fans should expect.
1. Body Count: The virus is obviously highly dangerous, but don't expect the show to keep any characters safe. By the end of Day 1, they've already racked up three dead bodies. There is only more on the way. With flash-forwards to Day 15, audiences see right away that it'll get much worse very quickly.
2. Julie Plec Attracted The Actors: Audiences who watch "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals" will recognize a couple of faces in "Containment." Black is known to fans of "The Originals" as Dahlia, and she said that Plec always gives her fantastic roles. “When my kids came to set, I said, ‘This is the lady who changed my life with not one, but two phone calls,’” Black said. “That’s what it’s like for an actor. You’re waiting for the next thing that you can get excited about. … I don’t remember being so excited before.”
Wood, who played the villainous Kai on “TVD,” said it was Plec’s writing that drew him in. “When I read the script I was so taken with Jake, the character, and obviously, how polarizingly different he is than the other character I played,” he said. He also noted that Plec's "terrific sensibilities and passion and care" for her work made joining the cast an easy choice.
3. A Jane Austen Romance: Do deadly viruses and quarantines not remind you of a Victorian romance? Think again. The show quickly establishes that everyone in quarantine has to stay four to six feet away from each other. That means that love interests, like Jake and Katie (Kristen Gutoskie), can't touch.
“There’s something beautifully chaste and deeply, emotionally intimate about building a dynamic between two people who really, if they’re following the rules, shouldn’t be within four feet of each other,” Plec explained. “I call it like going back to Jane Austen. I made this joke earlier today, and it’s like Mr. Darcy. You had to keep you’re distance because you’re a lady. And you couldn’t say how you felt, and you couldn’t throw him down and rip off his clothes. So it’s just building relationships in a different way.”
4. High Intensity: The "Containment" pilot is a fast-paced, intense drama, and Plec said it doesn't slow down at any point. “There’s that level on tension that lives underneath anything. Like, the monster is under your bed at all times or around the corner or in the next room because the virus is under your bed and around the corner,” Plec explained. “I think that’s what’s kind of fun about it. You get to have the experience of both watching a horror movie and a beautiful sort of nice character drama all at the same time.”
Watch the “Containment” trailer below:
"Containment" Season 1 premieres in the winter on The CW.