'Roswell' Reboot Has Original Cast's Approval — Except Katherine Heigl

Creator Carina Adly MacKenzie held an unsanctioned DIY panel for the series a half-hour away from San Diego Comic-Con.
Courtesy of Everett Collection
'Roswell'

The CW's midseason Roswell reboot, Roswell New Mexico, has the original cast's stamp of approval — except for Katherine Heigl.

While the series did not have an official presence at this year's San Diego Comic-Con (as the show premieres in 2019), creator Carina Adly MacKenzie said during an "outer con" panel/podcast hosted by Aisha Tyler that most of the original cast have reached out to endorse the show — everyone except the newly minted Suits star.

The new series is based on the same Roswell High book series as the original WB/UPN drama, but the story has aged up the characters, so the star-crossed lovers are now Liz (Jeanine Mason), the Mexican-American daughter of undocumented immigrants, and Max (Nathan Parsons), Liz's teenage crush who is now a police officer — and secretly an alien.

While the just-released trailer (watch, below) is heavy on the supernatural romance aspect of the story, MacKenzie — who was wearing an "abolish ICE" shirt — discussed just how political she intended the series to be, and how the election of President Donald Trump inspired the story.

"When the world wasn't burning, I would've been cool to write the high school version of the show," she said. But now, "I feel like there is an urgency to ask smart questions."

There's not a fictional president in the series, which will tackle not only immigration but also other social issues. "I want this show to feel like smart conversations with smart people who aren't on the same side of the issues all of the time," MacKenzie said.

Warner Bros., the studio behind the new series, opted not to bring any of its midseason shows to Comic-Con and did not sanction the DIY event. Instead, MacKenzie herself organized the panel with Tyler and stars Mason and Parsons at a brewery nearly a half-hour outside San Diego's Gaslamp District. The audience, recruited via Twitter by MacKenzie, filled most of the 100-seat room as the four panelists discussed the making of the pilot and the origins of the pitch.

In a year where studios are spending heavily to promote shows outside of the convention floor — and, judging from the lines for activations by Amazon, Hulu and DC that stretched for blocks, it's working — the low-key approach of the panel lacked the fervor of the crowds closer to the convention. But that isn't necessarily a negative: It was filled with super-fans who are active on social media and didn't require hours of waiting in line in the hot sun, something that hasn't been seen at Comic-Con for at least a decade.

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