The clue may have always been there in the title, but launching season two of Killing Eve for a U.K. audience Tuesday night in London, executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle said the eventual ending of the BBC and BBC America hit show has actually not been mapped out yet.
“No, it genuinely hasn’t,” Woodward Gentle told The Hollywood Reporter. That said, is it inevitable that the Eve in question, played by Sandra Oh, will have to be killed? “Who knows?” she continued. “It is called Killing Eve but also Eve is all women, so what does that mean? Who knows?”
The hit drama, created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and also starring Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw, has been much lauded since its inception in 2018, most recently winning three BAFTA TV trophies.
Speaking backstage at Sunday night’s London ceremony, Waller-Bridge admitted it was not easy to hand over her creation to season two showrunner Emerald Fennell, but it was the right thing to do. “Yes, it was painful,” she said, “and hard because you’re moving away from a family and a project, but I’m still there and around, and seeing Emerald take it and run with it like that was just cool. It just feels cool to hand things on and to have other people’s input. I think it can only make things grow that way.”
Interestingly, in a similar way that Waller-Bridge’s range of talents has been evidenced with her acting onscreen and on stage in her comedy Fleabag, Fennell’s star is likely to continue to ascend later this year when she appears as Camilla Parker-Bowles in season three of Netflix’s The Crown.
Waller-Bridge remains an executive producer on the series, alongside original team Lee Morris and Woodward Gentle, whose Sid Gentle Films initially optioned Luke Jennings’ Villanelle series of novels on which the show is based.
Killing Eve has already been picked up for a third season with Fear the Walking Dead’s Suzanne Heathcote previously announced as the new showrunner and lead writer. But with no defined ending in sight, is there a sense of how long the show might run for? “What we want to do is always keep it fresh,” said Woodward Gentle. “I don’t think you can reset every series and can do cat and mouse (between Eve and Villanelle) every series, so I’d like to think that we can refresh and surprise each time, but we genuinely don’t know where that’s going.”
Crucially, the core team overseeing the show is mindful not to keep Oh’s Eve and Comer’s Villanelle chasing each other indefinitely. “I think if it ever got to a point where it felt like we were just repeating,” added Woodward Gentle. “Then I think we’d gone wrong, so that’s what we are keeping an eye on and we genuinely are thinking, ‘OK, where can this go, how can we open this world out and where can that relationship (between Eve and Villanelle) go?’ and also what can that obsession look like from different people’s perspectives as well. So, we haven’t mapped anything out (for the end).”
Woodward Gentle said it’s natural that the story playing out on television has diverged from the characters living in the books. “It strays quite a lot off because Luke (Jennings) had only written three or four novellas when we started,” she said, “and then we moved faster than he could write the rest of it, so it naturally went like that. He saw where ours went, so I think he’s picked up certain tropes from what we were doing and then he’d also mentioned certain things that he might do and we’ve strayed. But they are quite different now. Villanelle has a lot more sex in the books, and she hardly has any sex (in the TV version) at all, so that’s where those are different as well.”
In the U.K., Killing Eve has already become the most requested series ever on demand for the BBC’s iPlayer on-demand platform, requested by 49 million people to date. Plus, a new BBC podcast called Obsessed With…Killing Eve will be launched when season two airs in its home country, although the launch date is yet to be announced.