As a part of this year’s 17th Annual New Yorker Festival, Mr. Robot showrunner Sam Esmail and his show’s star Christian Slater stopped by the SVA Theatre in New York City on Saturday night to talk about their hit hacker drama. New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe moderated.
Keefe, Esmail and Slater discussed the past two seasons of Mr. Robot, its origins and all that went into Esmail’s process. Sam Esmail is the creator, head writer, executive producer, and director of the series. Moderator Keefe attempted to pry information on the show’s already-anticipated third season, but to no avail. Esmail did confirm, however, that while nothing has yet to be filmed, writing on the third season has already begun and that it will be “dope AF.” Esmail hinted that production would start in the spring.
The SVA audience learned that the series was first intended to be a feature film primarily about the main character, Elliot (Rami Malek), but once Esmail started delving into the characters, it grew beyond his own expectations – and ultimately into a television series.
The crowd was also treated with insights into Mr. Robot‘s off-kilter frames that are meant to coincide with Elliot’s off-kilter character, Esmail’s own childhood escapism that inspired the Full House-esque/family sitcom parody episode, how Slater’s 1990 film Pump Up the Volume influenced Esmail and perhaps Mr. Robot itself, Esmail’s reason for the epic opening titles, that every Easter egg and minor detail has a purpose, and that Esmail knows where the show is going and exactly how it is going to end.
“The audience will play a pivotal role in the end game of the whole series,” Esmail answered, when a fan asked him about the audience being its own character in the show.
After a Q&A session with the audience that ran the event past its scheduled close, Slater and Esmail treated a few fans to some quick selfies before leaving the theater.