If Josh Hutchinson could go backward or forward in time, he would go forward, not too far forward, only about 20 years or so.
“I’m really curious about how badly we’ve done, or, like, if something amazing happened and things started to get a lot better,” Hutcherson says. From his tone you can tell he thinks it’s more likely to be the latter. But is that surprising? In a sense, Hutcherson has already been to the future, as Peeta in the popular Hunger Games franchise, and it was not pretty.
This time around Hutcherson will get to experience the lighter side of time hopping, as the star of Seth Rogen and Ben Karlin’s new comedy, Future Man.
The series follows a gaming janitor (also named Josh) as he traverses time, attempting to save the world from an ominous fate brought about by the discovery of a cure for herpes.
“The show kind of has every brand of comedy: It’s got super raunchy, very hard R stuff, it’s got physical bits, it’s got slapstick, it’s got, like 80’s sitcom vibes in a few episodes. It’s all over the map,” Hutcherson says.
The show which is written and created by the masterminds behind Sausage Party, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Schaffir, promises a complex story line and an adult humor.
Originally produced as a movie, the show is now slated to premiere on Hulu on November 14.
“We were working on [it] for years actually and this funny thing with the movie script was that, right at the end of the movie is kind of like, when you were interested in what happens, which is not a good thing for a movie, but is a great thing for a television pilot,” executive producer Seth Rogen explained as he sat huddled with reporters at Comic-Con.
And while Hutcherson is better known as a dramatic actor (this is actually his first comedy) Rogen credits both a “Michael J Fox-sh quality” combined with a certain gravitas that made Hutcherson a great fit for the show, which – for all it’s rated R humor – has serious elements.
“As we started working on the show, we realized that we needed someone who could convey the stakes of it, and who could, you know, who would ground it and anchor it,” said Rogen, “I can’t think of another comedy on television that has life or death stakes to it… and to the characters those stakes are very real.”
Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings) and Derek Wilson (Preacher) round out the Future Man cast, playing two video game characters come back from the future to assist Hutcherson in his quest to save the world.
Viewers can expect a fresh take on historical events like the moon landing, and plenty of homages to the likes of Marty McFly, Doctor Sam Beckett and other iconic time-travelers whom Hutcherson’s character relies on as a guide to the unknown.