Legends of Tomorrow: Marc Guggenheim Talks Jonah Hex

We talk with DC's Legends of Tomorrow producer Marc Guggenheim about just where and when the series is headed next.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow continues to reinvent the superhero TV series week-in and week-out because it has the ultimate superpower on its side: time travel. The possibilities are endless, as is the potential for new characters to join in on the fun. With old west hero Jonah Hex on the horizon, things are about to get interesting.

The cast of a show usually only knows what they’ve already filmed, so the producers are often the ones with the answers. Fortunately, Marc Guggenheim was on a WonderCon panel for Legends of Tomorrow to answer questions, and we asked a few more at a press roundtable. 

Den of Geek: We’ve seen Star City in the future. Could we visit Central City during the time Barry Allen was gone?

Guggenheim: Oh, we’ve talked about it. We’re not going to visit Central City in that particular time period in season one. We do return to Central City later in the season though.

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Can Rip Hunter’s ship travel through dimensions, as well as space and time? 

You know, we haven’t established that. We’ve said it travels through space and it also travels through time.

I think if we were to have it travel through other dimensions, we’d have to make a story point out of it. It would feel weird to me to do a whole season and Rip would be like, “Oh yeah, by the way, we also have this capability and we’ve never told you that.” That would feel a little cheap to me.

If we had a good story reason to do it, I don’t see a reason why not, but we’d have to justify it.

Will you delve more into the Time Masters and explain what they’re actually doing at this job?

They’re like U.S. Congress. They’ve got a job but they’re not particularly interested in doing it. No, I’m joking, but not really joking.

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In all seriousness, the back half of the season deals a lot with the Time Masters and you will get a lot of answers to your questions. In fact, the first half of the season was sort of spent laying the foundation as far as the Time Masters are concerned, for the back half of the year. You just didn’t know we were laying the pipe because we were doing it in a very slow, subtle way.

By the end of the season, you’ll be like, “Oh, that’s why I met that character at that time. That’s why they said this at that time.”

Even the little things that have happened throughout the first half of the season, that I think for the audience just played as a tossaway line of dialogue, it all had a reason to it and you’ll see the puzzle pieces start to come together in I think a pretty definitive fashion.

Do you have a white board in the writer’s room for all the time travel?

Oh, great question. We do have a great number of diagrams and storyboards and white boards.

That said, I always say, I’m always the one in the writers room going, “By the time episode nine airs, the people who were really sticklers for time travel probably tuned out by this point.” To use the Doctor Who term, we have our most timey wimey episodes coming up. Episode 12 in particular is a crazy timey wimey episode. It’s the kind of story, quite frankly, that we couldn’t tell if the raison d’etre of the show is how do we very anally retentive make sure that every rule of time travel works because the truth is, it’s a fool’s errand because anyone who has seen any time travel movie or TV show knows, it never lines up perfectly. It’s just impossible. I don’t care what the project is. We’re trying to be responsible.

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At the same time, we want to tell the best story possible. You’ll see by the end of the year there’s a lot of things that do line up.

Is there anything that particularly vexes us? I would say just for me, it’s probably the mythology behind the Hawks, though by the end of the season you’ll get a nice definitive explanation of everything.

Are you going to bring new characters into the Legends team second season?

I think the rumor sort of got started at TCAs where I think a couple of the critics got very enamored with the idea of the show being like American Horror Story where it just resets every year. We’re not going to be like that.

Each season’s going to have its own distinct identity and like with any show, there’ll be new characters coming in, other characters leaving but the poster for next year is not going to look all that different from the poster for this year.

What can you tell us about Jonah Hex?

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He’s in episode 11. I can tease that. He’s terrific.

Jonathan is an amazing Jonah Hex. I would say very, very faithful to the comics incarnation with a touch more sass, a little bit more attitude. That might have had something to do with the fact that I wrote episode 11 and I can’t seem to write characters without sass.

But he’s great and watching his interactions with Rip are gold. They’re just so much fun. Jonathan and Arthur make a great team. 

Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8PM on The CW.