Jupiter's Legacy is first and foremost a superhero show, but it's a grounded story about complex family dynamics and the cyclical nature of history. From the pages of Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's smash comic book comes Netflix's latest superhero drama. Over one hundred years ago six ordinary people traveled to a mysterious island where they are granted powers far beyond those of mortal men. A century later The Union must not only battle supervillains but also struggle with the next generation of supers in a world that has somewhat outgrown their antiquated ideals. Jupiter's Legacy isn't about battling evil super villains or stopping runaway trains for eight episodes. Although that does happen, this story is about kids who never asked for superpowers wanting to live their own life. Imagine your relationship with your parents, now add capes.
As Sheldon Sampson's closest friend George Hutchence, Matt Lanter (The Clone Wars, Timeless) oozes an onscreen vintage cool. Also known as Skyfox, George was an ally and a powerful founding member before turning heel on the Union. Years of fighting crime forced George to realize the real cause of society's issues was the core system and ingrained structures the Union fought to uphold and protect. Currently, the greatest supervillain in the world Skyfox has been MIA for many years- his whereabouts and loyalties remain a mystery. Matt recently sat down to share how George relates to the rest of the team, stories from the troubled Island shoot and points out similarities between George and "The Chosen One."
Your Character Skyfox falls from grace similar to another character you play. How would you compare playing George to playing pre- Darth Vader Anakin Skywalker?
Matt Lanter: There are a lot of similarities They're definitely not lost on me. They are both charismatic guys, both full of bravado, and – they are kind of both rule-breakers. They do what they want. -…you said pre Vader- but then they both fall. I think they also think they are doing the right thing, with the exception of murdering little Jedis. I think they're both, they think they are just in what they are doing, and they think they are helping the world around them.
Sheldon/ Utopian (Josh Duhamel) is struggling to uphold his somewhat antiquated ideals from bygone days. Can you describe "the Code" that the Union follows and how does George's opinion of the code, and Sheldon, change over the course of the story?
ML: I hopefully can better answer that hopefully next year when we are doing this again or something. We haven't really had an opportunity yet to experience much of George's experience with the Code. Something obviously that Sheldon established once we obtained the powers. I would have to assume that I think that he thinks probably Sheldon has great intentions with the code. I don't think he would resist the code on the molecular level that Walter (Ben Daniels) does… I think he has the best intentions but he probably feels like being a rule follower 100% of the time inhibits growth and progress. I think that hopefully, we will get to see some of that.
The onscreen chemistry in Jupiter's Legacy is spot on. Can you describe that bond between you and the cast that transcends real life to the screen and describe that relationship?
ML: That was really important to me. I think it helps establish that relationship. Much like Anakin, I don't know if you guys have seen The Clone Wars, The establishment of Anikin and Ahsoka, and that relationship, that you see all these losses in Anakin's life really helps propel him to a dark place. I think that I took some of that from Anakin's story and brought that in. I think the more that we establish the loyalty and the love that George has for Sheldon, as his best friend…. Walter really drives that wedge between them and unknowingly to Sheldon. Josh is an easy guy to get along with, he is just the nicest dude. He's just a nice normal dude.
George is the greatest villain, can you speak to your performance knowing that we wouldn't get to see that side of George? We only get the see the good side, the free thinker.
ML: I wanted to make sure that Geroge felt earnest and- like he really truly cared. He felt like Sheldon was family because establishing that bond and that relationship is really going to make that fall greater and more tragic when he does. I didn't really have it in my head. I was really playing any of those scenes. I think my job in Season One, as we've seen in the past, was to show my caring, my understanding, my loyalty, and of course to establish the character as fun.… I hope there's going to be a divide in people that are angry at George that he's defected from the group and doesn't want anything to do with it. And I hope that there is a group that is with him. That says 'No this guy is right. He's doing the right thing. He's been framed.'
I understand that there was some troubleshooting on the island for the bonkers Season 1 Episode 7, Are there any stories you could share?
ML: The trials and tribulations that you see onscreen were trials and tribulations that happened offscreen as well. It was a lot. The weather was freezing cold, so when you are seeing (The cast) getting pelted with water on the ship, that was all real. It's freezing water, it's freezing outside. We were running from that into the hot tub to thaw out, run back, do a few more takes. We were trekking through the woods on the island. It was bright and sunny one day, the next day it was snowing in Toronto. So the snow that you see on screen was not planned and it is real and we were shooting in the snow the next day. We were being pelted with sand with massive fans in that sans storm that was all real. It was tough but as an actor, it wasn't very glamorous. But I actually think it really helped bond us, the six of us- the O. G. superheroes, in a really cool way.
They have had a bit of a cantankerous relationship for over one hundred years, why does George dislike Walter so much?
ML: I don't think it's a dislike from the bottom of his heart. I think Walter is an easy target. I think that's really mean to say but he just is. He just sorts of whines and he's just the guy that you sort of have fun picking on. Because he takes it so seriously. , and I think George is so opposite of that. George is that guy that is like 'hey man, don't take it so seriously. Life is more fun. I just think it's easy. As a matter of fact, Sheldon has a line somewhat similar to that he says to Walter 'Stop giving in to it and he won't pick on you as much'… I think the Sheldon and George relationship, they are kind of Guy's Guys. Guys that probably were playing sports in college. They probably went to the dances with girls and Walt never did. Never really fit in. I think he's a bit of an easy target. He's picking on him but out of a place of love. It's kind of a brotherly thing. Brothers do that to each other. But I think Walt sort of takes it to a new place.
Jupiter's Legacy is currently streaming on Netflix. For more info check out www.netflix.com/JupitersLegacy