ATX Television Festival panel will dig into the rejected Tremors pilot

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Tremors Vincenzo Natali

It has been almost a year, and I still can't wrap my head around Syfy's decision not to move forward with a Tremors mini-series that would have seen Kevin Bacon returning to the role of Valentine McKee, the character he played in the original TREMORS back in 1990. That mini-series seemed like a guaranteed hit for the network. Viewers were excited by the idea, and Bacon had willed the project into existence himself because he really wanted to play Val again.

A pilot episode was shot, directed by SPLICE's Vincenzo Natali from a script by Andrew Miller. Ignoring the events of the TREMORS sequels Bacon wasn't in, the mini-series picked up 

25 years after Valentine McKee defeated the Graboids, and the man who once seemed destined for greatness is anything but. He’s a small-town hero whose glory days faded away with the monsters he braved and whose family moved on when he couldn’t let go of the past.

And yet McKee’s hoping that everything’s about to change. His grown daughter coming to visit on the heels of her graduation could signal a permanent homecoming. But no sooner than she arrives, strange and terrifying events make it clear the town is in danger.

Led by McKee, the gang from Perfection begins to uncover the spine-chilling truth of what’s hunting them. With the future looking darker than ever, these small-town heroes must shake off the dust of years to see what they’re made of.

That pilot has never been released to the public, although a trailer was cut together and released online. We may be learning more about it soon, as it has been announced that this year's ATX Television Festival will feature a panel focused on the pilot. While the entire episode won't be shown, a selection of clips will be screened and there will be a live script reading.

The panel will also feature conversations with writer/executive producer Andrew Miller, executive producer Jessica Rhoades, and cast members Toks Olagundoye, P.J. Byrne, and Haley Tju.

In the pilot, Olagundoye played Jessica Florence, a city-chic civil engineer who has come to Perfection with plans to expand the access road. Byrne played real estate developer Melvin, a character who was played by Robert Jayne in TREMORS, TREMORS 3, and the previous TV show. Tju's character was a dirt-biking drug smuggler named Jai. 

Other cast members in the pilot included Emily Tremaine as Val's daughter Emily; John Ellison Conlee as Val's sci-fi loving, yoga-practicing best friend Harlan Maylor; Megan Ketch as returning character Mindy Sterngood (originally played by Ariana Richards), now a doctor who is also "an unanticipated threat"; Shiloh Fernandez as Nico Garza, who works in Earl's Graboid Waste Gobbling company; Hunter Parrish as the leader of a tribe of earth-worshipping Millenials; Ebonée Noel as the psychic Zoe; and Brandon Jay McLaren as Toby, a likeable guy who nobody likes. 

If the mini-series had been made, Fred Ward might have shown up in it as his TREMORS / TREMORS II: AFTERSHOCKS character Earl Bassett, since he apparently owned the "Graboid Waste Gobbling company".

The ATX Television Festival will be held in Austin Texas on June 6th through the 9th. I look forward to hearing any Tremors details that might leak out of it.

Source: IndieWire

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.