"Castle" creator/writer Andrew Marlowe and executive producer Laurie Zaks also shared their thoughts on the twists and turns for the new season during their press panel.
ANDREW MARLOWE (creator/writer) and LAURIE ZAKS (executive producer)
QUESTION: How did you come up with the idea of "Castle"?
ANDREW MARLOWE: Part of it being a writer myself, sitting in a ten by ten room, and thinking "Wouldn’t it be great if I could go out and live some of the adventures that I’m writing?" So to take a look at someone like James Patterson or Stephen King who have a wealth of creative knowledge; what would it be like to team them up with someone who is in a straight forward homicide detective. I love shows that have a romantic tension and chemistry to it like "The Frontpage" or "Nick and Nora". Tracey/Hepburn, Moonlighting feel to it. To be able to do a contemporary version of that was great. So that was the genesis for it. I was excited to dip my toe into the TV world a bit, having (done) a lot of features. And the thing about features is you write it in (2005) and shoot it in (2009). Best cast from idea to screen is two years. Then you kinda get a weekend and then you’re done. Whereas with TV you can have an extended conversation with the culture; it’s been really exciting to have more than one story with a set of different characters.
LAURIE ZAKS: And it’s really nice to have it written, and see your words (onscreen) instead of going into development for two or three years.
Q: What exciting stuff will we see coming up this season?
AM: We have some exciting stuff coming up. We’re going to try deepening the Beckett and Castle relationship, playing the romantic tension, but we do have twists and turns coming this season. We’re looking into doing another two parter like we did last season. We feel like we have such a great cast and we haven’t tapped into their potential.
Q: Will we find out Richard Castle’s REAL name? Is that episode 2 or 3 of the new season?
AM: That will be episode 2.
Q: You talk about the romantic tension between Castle and Beckett, it seems to be a big part of the show’s success. What are the boundaries that you have in writing because clearly you don’t want to give out too much too soon? When you create these scenes do you say, "This is what we’re going to do and what we’re not going to do?"
AM: It’s a real delicate dance, and we talk about it in the beginning of the season. We’re also cognizant that the fans are rooting for them to get together, but once they do get together? Everything changes. So we want to make sure we’re honoring the fans desires, and we’re also giving the fans what they really want which is that romantic tension. We’re trying really hard to not make promises we can’t keep. The challenge for us is the way in which we keep them. It’s something we talk about in the beginning of the season. And then we look into each episode and try to follow that progression. We know with all of the great romances there are always obstacles. If there weren’t obstacles it wouldn’t be interesting. So if you look back in Shakespeare with "Romeo and Juliet" and how the world conspired to keep them apart; partly by their own choices and partly by being star-crossed. I think we ended last season by Castle being hurt, seeing Beckett in a new relationship, but being a gentleman he steps backâ€¦but only in the moment when it looks like it really (could) hurt (Beckett.) There’s going to be a process of recovery from thatâ€¦but we’re trying to do it in a way that’s really satisfying to the audience instead of really frustrating to the audience. And I think, the challenge having looked at shows like "Bones" is how to keep that spark there without it going into brother/sister territory because it’s not what we wantâ€¦we want that friction and it’s so much fun to have that friction. The frustration of having feelings towards somebody, and seeing them in a relationship with somebody else you know they shouldn’t be in? We feel we can play with that territory for a little while longer.
Q: So they’re like Romeo and Juliet with guns, then? But they don’t die.
AM: That’s right (laughs)
LZ: Yes, they won’t be dead.
NATHAN FILLION (RICHARD CASTLE)
Q: The relationship with Kate (Beckett)
NATHAN FILLION: First season, obviously, Castle blew it. He’s got his own sense of logic, he kind of has a filter; he’s got a life that lacks the repercussions. He doesn’t have a lot of repercussions in his life. He thinks he’s doing the right thing and that he’ll be the hero. So he’s completely off base, and wrong. That was the first season. Second season, safe to say, Beckett blew it. So what we have in the third season are two people we know should be together, two people we know want to be together, two people we want to (see) be together but they are in other relationships. Instead of being chained together, they are chained apart.
Q: Do you look forward to being more of a detective than a writer while filming the show?
NF: No, I think because there are enough detectives on the show, there’s enough detectives on TV. What I like about our show is that these detectives are not dark and brooding; murder is killing them inside, eating them up and chewing them up. We met with some NYPD cops while we were shooting the pilot. We had them on set, we were hanging out with them, and they were great. I’ll tell you, It was a little better than hanging out with a comedian because you’re laughing just as much but everything they’re talking about is reality. They’re incredibly funny, they’re incredibly wonderful people, they have the most amazing stories that are incredibly entertaining! The only difference is their stories start off with, "So this guy gets killedâ€¦" So I think our show is based a lot more on real life. In that our detectives are real people who love their jobs, who like the people they work with, they’re actually having a good time. Yeah, they got worries, they get upset at times, but they’re not brooding with disdain for the city (laughs). And Castle is a different kind of guy all together, he’s not an investigator. He’s a writer, he doesn’t care about the facts. He wants the story.
Q: What is the secret in creating an epic hero?
NF: I think the secret to creating an epic heroâ€¦is allowing the hero to fail. The age of "I know just who to call! He’s the best man who ever livedâ€¦" That era of hero is over; the Rambo that cannot fail. The super, invulnerable, who can throw a knife at a hundred yards. We need a hero who is a real man who can actually fail. Indiana Jones was my first experience with thatâ€¦now there’s a guy who got punched, and beat up and then wins in the end. That’s the guy that I like, and that’s what I think is the secret to an epic hero.