BY LAURA ROSENFELD
Unfortunately, not much was revealed at this year's New York Comic Con about the upcoming second season of USA's critically acclaimed drama Mr. Robot other than the fact that Christian Slater will return as the titular character and that the next installment will "get really f—ing dark," series creator Sam Esmail said during the show's panel Friday.
That last tidbit is hard to believe considering how incredibly dark Season 1 of Mr. Robot was. What makes Mr. Robot so sobering is the fact that you can imagine a lot of what happens in the series — which follows young programmer Elliot (Rami Malek) as he gets involved with a mysterious group of anarchic hackers aiming to take down an evil conglomerate — happening in our real constantly connected society, and that's exactly the point.
"Going into writing the show, I said I really want it to be of our time, I really wanted to make a show of today. I want to embrace it in every detail," Esmail said during a roundtable interview with several reporters at New York Comic Con Friday. "There was a reviewer that said our show can't help but be dated in a year or two because of the technology, and I actually don't mind that. One of the things I always say is we're actually making a period piece about today and we're just going to embrace it fully."
For instance, many have drawn parallels between what happens in the show and the major Sony hack at the end of 2014, the news of which, eerily enough, came out around the same time Mr. Robot got picked up by USA, Esmail said. He said he had written the pilot a few years before the Sony hack occurred, but he was inspired by several other real-life hacking stories.
"That was what was kind of astounding while filming it after watching all of these things, these major hacks happen," said Portia Doubleday, who plays Elliot's childhood friend Angela on the show, during a roundtable interview at New York Comic Con. "It just felt like the show was really onto something. It's pretty timely and scary."
Knowing that there are really people like Elliot out there, who can not only hack into and expose anyone's online life but also take down major corporations and, essentially, the world along with it, is what makes the series so chilling, especially knowing that it's only going to become more of a problem as time goes on.
"That's what all of our governments are concerned with these days, is one guy sitting behind a computer who can systematically destroy major components of militaries, corporations," Malek said during a roundtable interview at New York Comic Con. "It exists, and that's what's terrifying."
Mr. Robot is scheduled to return for Season 2 on USA in 2016.