A day after unveiling the first trailer for the Seth Rogen-exec produced Future Man, Hulu screened the first episode for a New York Comic-Con audience, displaying the sci-fi comedy’s tone- and time-shifting mix of raucous and raunchy laughs and video game violence brought to live-action.
But don’t expect any improv, cast members Josh Hutcherson and Haley Joel Osment advised fans. With its Quantum Leap-style jumps through time, even a few words added to a scene might throw future plots off track. “The Butterfly Effect,” explained Osment.
Along with Hutcherson and Osment, the panel included fellow cast members Eliza Coupe and Derek Wilson, along with creators Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir and showrunner Ben Karlin.
The series, which debuts November 14 on Hulu, follows Hutcherson’s Josh Futterman, a hapless, going-nowhere janitor who lives with his parents (Ed Begley Jr., the late Glenne Headly) and plays an unbeatable video game in all his spare time. When he finally accomplishes a never-before victory, the game’s fighters (Coupe, Wilson) arrive from the future, proclaiming him a savior who can prevent the future destruction of mankind.
And with that — and a few pretty vicious fights — the trio goes on a time-jumping excursion. First stop: July 20, 1969, which happens to have been the day that changes history (and not because of that moon landing thing). That’s the day that leads Futterman’s scientist boss to begin a quest for a herpes cure, a journey that somehow unleashes a series of Butterfly Effects that messes with humankind’s genes. Or something.
The debut episode provides a good look at the era-specific production design and attention to detail. We see the Doors are playing the Whisky a Go Go on the night of the moon landing — which, Hutcherson says, is historically accurate.
The show also has its share of raunch — not unexpected given the Sausage Party credit on Hunter and Shaffir’s résumé. In one soon-to-be-notorious scene, Hutcherson engages in some solo activity while watching his video game favorite, resulting in a Something About Mary moment that leaves Wilson’s vicious killer from the future none too pleased.
And speaking of raunch, the mood carried over to the audience Q&A portion of the panel, when a Comic-Con attendee asked Coupe to rank her co-stars using the old Kill, Marry or F*ck ratings.
Coupe handled the question with extreme good grace. “I’m allowed to f*ck whoever I want,” she snapped. “And I’m not going to kill anyone.” As for Option 3, she said, “I’ve been married twice, and I can’t do it again.”
Here’s the Future Man trailer released Thursday: