15 Things We Know About the New Season of Twin Peaks

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."

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for PCA
12 Surprising Facts About Robin Williams
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for PCA
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for PCA

Robin Williams had a larger-than-life personality. On screen and on stage, he embodied what he referred to as “hyper-comedy.” Offscreen, he was involved in humanitarian causes and raised three children—Zak, Zelda, and Cody. On July 16, HBO debuts the documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, directed by Marina Zenovich. The film chronicles his rise on the L.A. and San Francisco stand-up comedy scenes during the 1970s, to his more dramatic roles in the 1980s and '90s in award-winning films like Dead Poets Society; Good Morning, Vietnam; Awakenings; The Fisher King; and Good Will Hunting. The film also focuses on August 11, 2014, the date of his untimely death. Here are 12 surprising facts about the beloved entertainer.

1. ROBIN WILLIAMS GOT HIS START AT A COMEDY WORKSHOP INSIDE A CHURCH.

A still from 'Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind' (2018)
HBO

After leaving Juilliard, Robin Williams found himself back in his hometown of San Francisco, but he couldn’t find work as an actor. Then he saw something for a comedy workshop in a church and decided to give it a shot. “So I went to this workshop in the basement of a Lutheran church, and it was stand-up comedy, so you don’t get to improvise with others, but I started off doing, ostensibly, it was just like improvising but solo," he told NPR. "And then I started to realize, ‘Oh.’ [I started] building an act from there."

2. HE FORMED A FRIENDSHIP WITH KOKO THE GORILLA.

In 2001, Williams visited Koko the gorilla, who passed away in June, at The Gorilla Foundation in Northern California. Her caregivers had shown her one of his movies, and she seemed to recognize him. Koko repeatedly signed for Williams to tickle her. “We shared something extraordinary: laughter,” Williams said of the encounter. On the day Williams died, The Foundation shared the news with Koko and reported that she fell into sadness.

3. FOR A TIME, HE WAS A MIME IN CENTRAL PARK.

In 1974, photographer Daniel Sorine captured photos of two mimes in New York's Central Park. As it turned out, one of the mimes was Williams, who was attending Juilliard at the time. “What attracted me to Robin Williams and his fellow mime, Todd Oppenheimer, was an unusual amount of intensity, personality, and physical fluidity,” Sorine said. In 1991, Williams revisited the craft by playing Mime Jerry in Bobcat Goldthwait’s film Shakes the Clown. In the movie, Williams hilariously leads a how-to class in mime.

4. HE TRIED TO GET LYDIA FROM MRS. DOUBTFIRE BACK IN SCHOOL.

As a teen, Lisa Jakub played Robin Williams’s daughter Lydia Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire. “When I was 14 years old, I went on location to film Mrs. Doubtfire for five months, and my high school was not happy,” Jakub wrote on her blog. “My job meant an increased workload for teachers, and they were not equipped to handle a ‘non-traditional’ student. So, during filming, they kicked me out.”

Sensing Jakub’s distress over the situation, Williams typed a letter and sent it to her school. “A student of her caliber and talent should be encouraged to go out in the world and learn through her work,” he wrote. “She should also be encouraged to return to the classroom when she’s done to share those experiences and motivate her classmates to soar to their own higher achievements … she is an asset to any classroom.”

Apparently, the school framed the letter but didn’t allow Jakub to return. “But here’s what matters from that story—Robin stood up for me,” Jakub wrote. “I was only 14, but I had already seen that I was in an industry that was full of back-stabbing. And it was entirely clear that Robin had my back.”

5. HE WASN’T PRODUCERS' FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY MORK ON MORK & MINDY.

Anson Williams, Marion Ross, and Don Most told The Hallmark Channel that a different actor was originally hired to play Mork for the February 1978 Happy Days episode “My Favorite Orkan,” which introduced the alien character to the world. “Mork & Mindy was like the worst script in the history of Happy Days. It was unreadable, it was so bad,” Anson Williams said. “So they hire some guy for Mork—bad actor, bad part.” The actor quit, and producer Garry Marshall came to the set and asked: “Does anyone know a funny Martian?” They hired Williams to play Mork, and from September 1978 to May 1982, Williams co-headlined the spinoff Mork & Mindy for four seasons.

6. HE “RISKED” A ROLE IN AN OFF-BROADWAY PLAY.

Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California
Michael Caulfield, Getty Images for PCA

In 1988, Williams made his professional stage debut as Estragon in the Mike Nichols-directed Waiting for Godot, which also starred Steve Martin and F. Murray Abraham. The play was held off-Broadway at Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center. The New York Times asked Williams if he felt the show was a career risk, and he responded with: “Risk! Of never working on the stage again! Oh, no! You’re ruined! It’s like you're ruined socially in Tustin,” a town in Orange County, California. “If there’s risk, you can’t think about it,” he said, “or you’ll never be able to do the play.”

Williams had to restrain himself and not improvise during his performance. “You can do physical things,” he said, “but you don’t ad lib [Samuel] Beckett, just like you don’t riff Beethoven.” In 1996, Nichols and Williams once again worked together, this time in the movie The Birdcage.

7. HE USHERED IN THE ERA OF CELEBRITY VOICE ACTING.

The 1992 success of Aladdin, in which Williams voiced Genie, led to more celebrities voicing animated characters. According to a 2011 article in The Atlantic, “Less than 20 years ago, voice acting was almost exclusively the realm of voice actors—people specifically trained to provide voices for animated characters. As it turns out, the rise of the celebrity voice actor can be traced to a single film: Disney’s 1992 breakout animated hit Aladdin.” Since then, big names have attached themselves to animated films, from The Lion King to Toy Story to Shrek. Williams continued to do voice acting in animated films, including Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Happy Feet, and Happy Feet 2.

8. HE FORGOT TO THANK HIS MOTHER DURING HIS 1998 OSCAR SPEECH.

In March 1998, Williams won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. In 2011, Williams appeared on The Graham Norton Show, and Norton asked him what it was like to win the award. “For a week it was like, ‘Hey congratulations! Good Will Hunting, way to go,'” Williams said. “Two weeks later: ‘Hey, Mork.’”

Then Williams mentioned how his speech accidentally left out one of the most important people in his life. “I forgot to thank my mother and she was in the audience,” he said. “Even the therapist went, ‘Get out!’ That was rough for the next few years. [Mom voice] ‘You came through here [points to his pants]! How’s the award?’”

9. HE COMFORTED STEVEN SPIELBERG DURING THE FILMING OF SCHINDLER’S LIST.

At this year’s 25th anniversary screening of Schindler’s List, held at the Tribeca Film Festival, director Steven Spielberg shared that Williams—who played Peter Pan in Spielberg’s Hook—would call him and make him laugh. “Robin knew what I was going through, and once a week, Robin would call me on schedule and he would do 15 minutes of stand-up on the phone,” Spielberg said. “I would laugh hysterically, because I had to release so much.”

10. HE HELPED ETHAN HAWKE GET HIS AGENT.

During a June 2018 appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Ethan Hawke recalled how, while working on Dead Poets Society, Williams was hard on him. “I really wanted to be a serious actor,” Hawke said. “I really wanted to be in character, and I really didn’t want to laugh. The more I didn’t laugh, the more insane [Williams] got. He would make fun of me. ‘Oh this one doesn't want to laugh.’ And the more smoke would come out of my ears. He didn’t understand I was trying to do a good job.” Hawke had assumed Williams hated him during filming.

After filming ended, Hawke went back to school, but he received a surprising phone call. It was from Williams’s agent, who—at Williams's suggestion—wanted to sign Hawke. Hawke said he still has the same agent today.

11. HE WAS ALMOST CAST IN MIDNIGHT RUN.

In February 1988, Williams told Rolling Stone how he sometimes still had to audition for roles. “I read for a movie with [Robert] De Niro, [Midnight Run], to be directed by Marty Brest,” Williams said. “I met with them three or four times, and it got real close, it was almost there, and then they went with somebody else. The character was supposed to be an accountant for the Mafia. Charles Grodin got the part. I was craving it. I thought, ‘I can be as funny,’ but they wanted someone obviously more in type. And in the end, he was better for it. But it was rough for me. I had to remind myself, ‘Okay, come on, you’ve got other things.’”

In July 1988, Universal released Midnight Run. Just two years later, Williams finally worked with De Niro, on Awakenings.

12. BILLY CRYSTAL AND WILLIAMS USED TO TALK ON THE PHONE FOR HOURS.

Actors Robin Williams (L) and Billy Crystal pose at the afterparty for the premiere of Columbia Picture's 'RV' on April 23, 2006 in Los Angeles, California
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Starting in 1986, Williams, Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg co-hosted HBO’s Comic Relief to raise money for the homeless. Soon after Williams’s death, Crystal went on The View and spoke with Goldberg about his friendship with Williams. “We were like two jazz musicians,” Crystal said. “Late at night I get these calls and we’d go for hours. And we never spoke as ourselves. When it was announced I was coming to Broadway, I had 50 phone messages, in one day, from somebody named Gary, who wanted to be my backstage dresser.”

“Gary” turned out to be Williams.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind premieres on Monday, July 16 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO.

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Walt Disney Pictures
10 Facts About Hocus Pocus
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures

In a 2014 Reddit AMA, Bette Midler said she'd be interested in doing a Hocus Pocus sequel. "You have to go to send in your cards to the Walt Disney company," she said. "The ball's in their court." While you get those cards ready, here are some facts about the original, which arrived in theaters 25 years ago today.

1. THE STORY ORIGINATED AS A BEDTIME STORY.

The story for Hocus Pocus came about after writer David Kirschner invented a bedtime story for his kids. He later wrote the story up and submitted it to Muppet Magazine (why does this not still exist?), where it gained recognition.

2. THE WRITERS USED PROPS TO PITCH IT TO STUDIO EXECUTIVES.

Bette Midler in 'Hocus Pocus' (1993)
Walt Disney Pictures

To pitch the story to Disney, the writers had execs enter a dark room with broomsticks and a vacuum cleaner hanging from the ceiling. They also scattered 15 pounds of candy corn throughout the room in an effort to invoke Halloween nostalgia. It obviously worked!

3. IT WAS NOT AN IMMEDIATE HIT.

Though it’s a cult classic now, Hocus Pocus didn’t do that well when it first came out in 1993, perhaps because it was released in July instead of September or October. Though it didn’t have a terrible opening—$8,125,471, putting it in fourth place at the box office that weekend—it fell to $2,017,688 a few weeks later, and bad reviews from the critics didn’t help matters.

Entertainment Weekly was particularly put off by the movie, calling it a “piece of corny slapstick trash” and saying that “It’s acceptable scary-silly kid fodder that adults will find only mildly insulting. Unless they’re Bette Midler fans. In which case it’s depressing as hell.”

4. BETTE MIDLER LOVES IT.

Bette Midler, by the way, has said that Hocus Pocus is her favorite film out of all of the films she’s ever done. (At least as of 2008.) Thora Birch agreed, recently saying, “The most fun I ever had on a film was Hocus Pocus.”

5. KATHY NAJIMY LOVES IT, TOO.

Midler isn't the only star of the film who isn't immune to its allure: Kathy Najimy has said she watches the movie with her family every year on August 15.

6. IT COULD HAVE STARRED LEONARDO DICAPRIO.

The role of Max was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio. He turned it down to do What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

7. SARAH JESSICA PARKER IS RELATED TO A WOMAN FAMOUSLY ACCUSED OF BEING A WITCH.

Had Sarah Jessica Parker known then what she knows now, she might have approached the role of Sarah Sanderson a little differently. When the actress went on the show Who Do You Think You Are to trace her family history, Parker discovered that one of her ancestors was Esther Elwell, one of the women accused of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. After a young girl said she saw Esther’s “spectre” strangling neighbor Mary Fitch, Elwell was arrested, but escaped going to trial.

8. THORA BIRCH REVISITED THE NEIGHBORHOOD IN AMERICAN BEAUTY.

While the kids are prematurely celebrating victory against the Sanderson sisters after locking them in the kiln, they’re shown talking in front of a house as they walk to a park. The house was later used as the house Thora Birch’s character lived in for American Beauty.

9. THE KIDS WEREN'T HUGE FANS OF THE CATS.

The kids all hated working with the cats. Many different cats were used to represent Binx, and each one served a different purpose—one was good at cuddling with the kids, one would jump on command, etc. Every time a new cat was used, the children would have to coerce the kitty to trust them by using treats and a clicker. They got sick of it.

10. MUCH OF THE ORIGINAL CAST REUNITED FOR A 20TH REUNION.

Most of the cast participated in a 20th anniversary event for D23 (the Disney fan club) members. Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler were not in attendance, but pretty much everyone else was, including Kathy Najimy (Mary Sanderson), Vinessa Shaw (Allison), Omri Katz (Max), Thora Birch (Dani), and Doug Jones (Billy Butcherson). You can watch some of that reunion above.

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