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Banshee Creator Jonathan Tropper Answers Fan Questions

Jonathan Tropper

Jonathan Tropper is the co-creator and executive producer of Cinemax’s Banshee. He’s also the international bestselling author of such novels as This is Where I leave You and Plan B.

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  • Where in Pennsylvania was Banshee filmed? I know PA and NC were the two locations but I live just outside of Philadelphia and was wondering what town in PA the show was filmed.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    We looked at Pennsylvania when we were starting out, but the rebate and the availability of experienced crew in North Carolina made it more appealing to the physical production people at Cinemax. As far as location, you are pretty much right. Banshee is in some magical nexus equidistant from New York and Philadelphia.

  • Have there been talks with investors or producers to make a prequel, sequel or spinoff from Banshee?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    There are no investors, other than Cinemax. We have had some offhanded talks about it, but nothing in television really comes from talks like that. I think the only way any kind of spinoff or sequel would happen would be if I had a very clear vision of a great new show featuring some of these characters, and I would have to pitch it to Cinemax like any other show.

  • To me this was above all a love story and want to believe they'll reunite eventually. You showed the selflessest love between these two characters. Do you imagine them together?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Lucas and Carrie will always love each other. But they have done too much damage to ever be together again as lovers. People they loved have died, and they have a degree of responsibility for that. Carrie deceived her family for years. Lucas showed up and caused all sorts of mayhem. Siobhan is dead. Gordon is dead. They can’t just say “Oh well, that’s sad but pretty damn convenient,” and climb back into bed together.

  • If you were to write yourself and/or other crew/writers/etc into the show who would you/they be?

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    I have never put myself in the show, even as an extra. I just felt like I would be glaringly out of place on the screen. However, Adam Targum, one of our Executive Producers, put himself on the cartel hit team that comes for Proctor in the finale, and he fit right in.

  • 1. Why did the final season have 8 episodes instead of ten? 2. Did Proctor survive? 3. The ending was happier than I expected - is the door open for spin-offs or a movie? Ty.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    The final season only had eight episodes largely for financial reasons. We were telling a lot of story, and if we stretched our budget over ten episodes they would have been very thin episodes.

  • You had so many amazing story lines and characters. Job was genius and played exceptionally well by Mr Lee. Do you have any future plans for any of the Banshee characters?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    No plans for any of them at this time. However, I would love to work with many of these actors again, and I hope to.

  • Jonathan, After their two big fights, Hood and Proctor were expected to clash again. When did it become a possibility that they wouldn't have that final big fight? -Dan Buffa

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    I just felt that we had already seen them beat the shit out of each other twice, and there would be nothing new about seeing it again. Lucas and Proctor have a very complicated relationship. They are adversaries, but they are not enemies. Placing Burton between them made it a much more nuanced showdown, a very different type of victory for Lucas, that still left room for the respect these two men have for each other.

  • Whats the most challenging episode through out the series?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    They are all very challenging. We only have ten days per episode – we shoot fights that should be shot over two days in six hours. We shoot stunts and action sequences, love scenes and dramatic scenes, and we never stop moving. We are also largely location based – we really only have a few standing sets, so we are constantly moving the company, which takes time and a lot of planning. Every episode feels like a marathon we will never finish. If I were to single out any it might be episode 6 of season 1 – the prison with the Albino. We shot in a real prison in South Carolina and it was 125 degrees Fahrenheit the whole time we were there.

  • Why didnt you choose to do more prison flashbacks? It was 15 years of Hood's life that we only seen once event that shaped him. What about escape attempts?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    We would have loved to do that – but with only 10 episodes per season, we just didn’t have the time to do it.

  • Was Proctor's final scene meant to be ambiguous?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    No. It was meant to be more like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You know he gets killed, but we don’t want to show it.

  • Do Lucas and Job ever reconnect with Sugar??

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    I have to believe they will be drinking together again sometime soon.

  • Why did it skip so much between when Job was taken to when he was finally found?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    They had no idea where to look for Job. They really needed Job to help them find Job, and without him, it took a much longer time.

  • Is Lucas real name really John Smith???

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    No! That was a sarcastic name he used when he was arrested. You can see that scene in the Banshee Origins.

  • Jonathan . from Leeds England . loved loved the show characters fantastic please say you are doing Hood as Jack Reacher type character now and have him fall into another town ??

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    That’s a great idea, but, alas, not in the cards. Also, Jack Reacher is already doing Jack Reacher.

  • Was Burton ever able to wear the same outfit twice or did he just have a moment every night where he stands naked in the woods while his blood soaked suit goes up in flames?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Burton has a very good tailor, and a very deep closet.

  • What was the hardest decision you had to make throughout the Banshee Series? Thanks for an amazing series. Hope this cast or at least some could do a different series.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    The hardest decision by far was the decision to end the show. We loved what we were doing. But we also felt strongly that the story had been told.

  • Did the combination numbers in the opening sequences mean anything? I always thought they were clues leading up to Lucas Hood's real name.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    They did mean things, but not that. Someone other than me would have to tell you what they meant.

  • The Finale was perfection. Would you consider writing a novel where the T.V. show leave off?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    The novels I write are very different. I don’t really see writing a book about these characters. Also, I’m not sure who owns the rights. I might have to make all sorts of deals…

  • Did any characters have a storyline that you had wanted to do, but for whatever reason weren't able to?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    We had a lot of ideas for Burton that we never got to explore. And, as I said earlier, I would have loved to do more with Gordon Hopewell.

  • Are there any current projects similar to the Banshee theme and style of film in the works?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I have a new project at Cinemax called Warrior which is very different in terms of story and character, but will have some of the heightened aspects of the Banshee tone in it.

  • It's what we all want to know. Why stop?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    https://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/leaving-town-the-creator-of-cinemaxs-banshee-explains-why-hes-ending-the-show/

  • When will Season 4 of Banshee be available on blu-ray dvd?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Yes it will. They usually come out right around Christmas.

  • In our family we had a running bet as to who would get to kill Burton. Nobody won! Was it always your intention for him to meet his demise like that?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Actually, no. That kind of came up organically as we were planning the final season. It wasn’t in the original plan, but it developed in the writers room.

  • Why end this show?????? My favorite series ever.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    https://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/leaving-town-the-creator-of-cinemaxs-banshee-explains-why-hes-ending-the-show/

  • I loved it all. The only thing I wished we'd have seen more of is Proctor's Tommy Gun action with the cartel. No real question. Just thank you. Thank you for an awesome show.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    You’re very welcome. And thank you for saying that. I think I just couldn’t bear to see Proctor go down.

  • Does the Lucas Hood character have a family? siblings, parents?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Lucas had parents. He killed his father who was abusing his mother, and that started him down the road to becoming the man with no name we all meet in the pilot of Banshee.

  • Hi Mr. Tropper! Last year I met you at New York Comic Con and you signed my Banshee Blu-Ray Seasons 1 & 2, My Question is; Can you come back and do another NYCC Panel Please?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    If they invite us, we will come. But with the show being over, I don’t really see it happening.

  • If there is another spin off season will you try to get Antony Starr back in it?

    • 3 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I don’t think we will be doing any spinoffs, but I’m always open to it. And if we did, I couldn’t imagine doing it without Antony.

  • Why kill Rebecca? Was that so necessary for the storyline?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    As I said above, we felt it was a good and emotional way to reshuffle the deck, and reconnect all of the characters in different ways.

  • Did you ever think about killing Hood?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Yes. As I’ve said, that was the original plan, but it changed after the first season.

  • Was there ever a plan to do more with Afton Williamson's character? I thought she was great and was disappointed that she got dropped from the show.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    We loved Afton and there were additional plans for her – but once we moved to Pittsburgh and did the time jump, the story that developed in the room required a weak DA who was in Proctor’s pocket, and no way was that going to be Afton’s character.

  • I hated Rebecca's death, because 1.) it seemed abrupt and 2.) it was the third female fan favorite character to bite it. What were the discussions in the writers' room?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    That is something we never would have done if it wasn’t our final season. Rebecca was too important a character for us. But once we knew it was our final season, we thought it was the perfect way to shuffle the deck, and align different characters in new ways. And, because we’ve always been a show that told stories in different times, we knew it wouldn’t mean not having Rebecca on the show.

  • The balance between outrageous pulp & character moments is tricky. Were there moments in the writers' room where you had to pull back from an idea to keep it grounded in character?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Sometimes it happens in the writers room. More often it happens in production, when you actually see the performance and realize you need to dial something back. But the further we got into the show, the better we got at landing in the right spot before we got to production.

  • I thought Cruz was an interesting character. Did you talk about her backstory in the writers' room?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    We certainly did have a back story for Cruz, but shooting eight episodes simply didn’t leave us a lot of time to tell it, and some of what we shot never ended up making it into the episodes.

  • Was there a character you wished you had done more with?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Yes, most of them. But in particular, Gordon Hopewell. Rus is such a good actor but Lucas and Carrie kept stealing the spotlight from him.

  • What scene/episode are you the most proud of?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Three episodes come to mind: The Truth About Unicorns in season 2. Tribal in season 3. And Requiem in season 4. To me, all three of those epitomize everything that was great about Banshee.

  • How can we Fanshees make a Methodic Doubt Banshee soundtrack happen?

    • 3 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I believe there already is one. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ID0QS2I?ie=UTF8&keywords=methodic%20doubt&qid=1464882903&ref_=sr_1_4&sr=8-4

  • My name is Julien VIDAL, i'm a french fan. Season 3 is my favorite, so first thank you for creating this show. What is your best memory on Banshee ?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Hi Julien. My favorite moments was one of the earliest. One of the first scenes we ever shot was Lucas fighting the Moody brothers in the creek in episode 4 of our first season. Seeing that happen was the first time I had ever seen this idea that we’d been living with for so many years coming to life, and it was a wonderful and surreal feeling.

  • Is kai proctor dead or alive?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Knowing him, he will wake up in a hospital somewhere, bullet-ridden and pissed off.

  • Why didn't Job take Sugar with to NYC???

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Sugar isn’t Job’s pet. He’s his own man, with his agenda. He probably had some shit he wanted to do.

  • What made you decide that Antony Starr will be the one that plays Lucas Hood?

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    We looked all over the world for our Lucas Hood, and we found him hiding out in New Zealand. We needed someone with the gravity, the pathos, the intelligence, and that devilish gleam in his eye. We saw a lot of “tough guys,” but we needed someone who could be so much more than tough.

  • Was Burton a eunuch or "gifted" Just remembering Rebecca's shocked reaction in Season 3

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Burton was neither a eunuch or “gifted.” He was something “other,” no doubt self-inflicted, and I imagine things felt pretty gnarly down there.

  • Is there any chance, at all, for a spin-off featuring Job? There is so much we don't know about him, and he is so fun to watch! Thank you.

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    There is always a chance, but I wouldn’t wait in the rain.

  • If season 5 existed, what would be the main themes?

    • 3 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I think the same themes we always have dealt with concerning identity: Can you ever be something other than your true self? How do people reinvent themselves and at what cost? What makes someone who they are?

  • If season 4 wasn't the final season would the show have played out the same in terms of the time jump and a major characters' death being a continuing plot of the season?

    • 3 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Yes to the time jump – that was always in the cards. As for the rest, I honestly don’t know.

  • If you created a spin off with any characters (dead or alive) who would be the leads if the show was a comedy?

    • 2 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Matt Servitto and Hoon Lee are probably the funniest actors, along with Ivana, who has got something of an inner Lucille Ball in her, so if we were doing a comedy, it would probably be those three.

  • What was your strongest influence in creating the world of Banshee; did you know how it would end from the start, or did you go on a journey of your own as you created each season?

    • 2 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I answered some of this above, but in terms of influences, they ranged from the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, to David Cronenberg movies like Eastern Promises and A History of Violence, to Quentin Tarrantino, to all of the straight to video action movies of the late eighties and early nineties.

  • What's hoods real name this is gonna bug me if I don't find out?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Here then, is the final truth about Lucas Hood’s real name: We don’t know. We never gave him one. We felt to do so would invariably be disappointing. He is the man with no name. Deal with it.

  • Did you know how much French fans love Banshee?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I don’t, but I’m hoping it’s a lot!

  • Why was Burton in the basement being whipped and castrated? Was the guy he strangled his father? Who was he before he met Kai?

    • 4 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Burton was raised in a brutal cult. His parents were acolytes of the cult leader, and Burton was being punished for an infraction. The man he killed was not meant to be anyone specific, just the acolyte carrying out his punishment, but it was Burton’s first kill, and doing it woke up a sense of power in him, that would grow in the years to come.

  • Surprised to see Sugar leave his bar. Assuming he and Job will meet up in NY. What kind of adventures do you see for the two of them together?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I don’t think Sugar was headed to New York. He’s seen enough action over the last few years. I think his plan was to retire, maybe buy a truck, and head somewhere beautiful and quiet, where the fishing is good.

  • Could we think that Hood and Carrie will be together in the future?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    We moved to Pittsburgh for season four and Banshee was largely shot in Vandergrift, PA, and on our stages in Churchill.

  • Did Hood really kill his father, or did he succumb to the thirst? If he really did, was he too late to save his mother? Thank you for a fantastic show!

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Yes, Lucas killed his father, who had been abusing his mother. His mother did survive, but by then Lucas was being sent off to the military and they never really got to be mother and son again.

  • Why season 4 is so light (in comparison with the others seasons)?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    I actually think season 4 is darker than previous seasons. Rebecca is dead, Carrie is grieving, Job is a mess, people are being killed… It’s pretty grim stuff. We did consciously do fewer action set pieces because we felt we had done such a great job of that in season 3 and we didn’t want to be senselessly competing with ourselves. Also, since it was our final season, and since we could only do eight episodes, we really wanted to be a nit more character driven, to really get into these characters as deeply as we could before we said goodbye.

  • First off thanks for giving us 4 seasons of the best show I ever watched on tv. Do you think maybe 5 or 6 years down the road there could be a movie?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    You’re very welcome, and thank you for saying that. A Banshee movie could be a lot of fun, but it’s not something I’ve ever really considered. I think there would be so many logistical hurdles to overcome that it would be a very daunting process. And there are very few examples in history of that every really working. But, as I said above to the question of a spinoff, if the idea was undeniable, I would pursue it.

  • Jonathan, did you get to stay true to your ending from the beginning...or did it change over the course of the seasons...

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    The story changed, though thematically we stayed on target. Originally I believed that the only true redemption for Lucas Hood was to sacrifice his life for his family. He came out of jail completely selfish and driven, looking to take back what was his at any cost. But by the end of the series, he was caring about others before himself. So, in the early days, my plan was that Lucas would die to save the Hopewell family. But over time it became apparent to me that Lucas was someone who had never really lived an adult life, had never actually figured out who he was, and so for him, resolution should come from that realization. I decided it was much more satisfying to see him ride off in search of himself, with some degree of peace of mind.

  • Where do you see the surviving characters in 10yrs? Will they turn into Carrie Hopewells, infiltrate small towns till they find one that feels like home, or commit crimes forever?

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    I think it will be different for all of them. The big question Banshee posed was whether we are who we are, or we have the ability to change. I think Lucas Hood rode out of town feeling that he was ready to change. But do we really believe that he will be able to stay out of trouble? Do we really believe Carrie won’t throw on her leather to go vigilante if another criminal force shows up in Banshee? I don’t know what it will take to get these guys to settle down, but it’s probably a long shot.

  • Is there a favorite moment or story you can share from behind the scenes ... is there a moment while filming the first season where you said this, this is why Banshee will work?

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    I think we would all have a different one. For me, it was episode six of the first season, where we told the story of Lucas in prison fighting the Albino. The fact that we could create this bizarre character and shoot that CRAZY fight scene suddenly made the potential of the show crystallize. I just understood that we had created a template in which the sky was the limit. We could tell stories in the present and the past, which gave us the ability to really develop our characters and the overall mythology of the show, while at the same time being able to introduce an infinite array of new, insane characters.

  • Do you think there is a place for these characters to live, and thrive outside of banshee, or (you can take folks out of Banshee but you can never take the banshee out of them?

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    I think that could work, but it would not be simple. Part of what made the characters work in Banshee was that there were lines of connection between all of the characters. So part of what made them work was where they fit into the scheme of Banshee with all the other characters. I’m sure we could come up with a plot for a number of these Characters in other places, but I don’t think it would feel the same.

  • Was the ending supposted to be similar to Pale Rider, a Clint Eastwood movie where Eastwood character was an avenging sheriff, who rode off in the desert and disappeared like Hood

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Defintely. And not just Pale Rider. Banshee owes a lot to the entire Clint Eastwood western milieu. We were constantly referencing everything from the Sergio Leone orginals, like A Fist Full of Dollars, to the later works like Pale Rider and Unforgiven. Banshee always felt to me like a contemporary western, and those movies and the Clint ethos loomed large in my mind during the process.

  • Can you give us some insight into the aesthetic decisions for Burton's little murder shed/basement?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Burton is, in many ways, like a child. But he protects this child, never really shows any emotions. So he needs a secret place where he can actually be alone to be his true self. Presumably, he had one in the last Proctor house as well, a place even Proctor didn’t know about. This house is still fairly new, and Burton hasn’t yet had the time to fully furnish or clean up this little basement he found beneath the tool shed, so it’s a psychotic work in progress, I guess.

  • In season 4 Origins, Proctor gives to Sugar a bag with money for Rebecca, considering that both Proctor and Rebecca have died, what happened to that money?

    • 0 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    Well, there are two possibilities. One is that Sugar added it to the pot when they had to buy back Job. The other is that he has it tucked away for a rainy day, because if there’s one thing four seasons in Banshee has taught him, it’s that there will always be another rainy day.

  • How did you come up with the character Burton?

    • 1 vote
    Jonathan Tropper

    We were just really plugged in to this notion that we were straddling the line between a graphic novel and a television show, and we wanted at least one character who really channeled that kind of heightened comic book feel. So we came up with this mute butler character who is also a vicious sociopath. But then, being that we were also a drama, we needed to find the humanity in him, which came from a combination of his love for Proctor and Matt Rauch’s fantastic interpretation of the role.

  • Siobhan’s death destroyed me, I still haven't gotten over it. So my q is: Which death was the hardest for you as their creators?

    • 2 votes
    Jonathan Tropper

    It was definitely Siobhan’s death. From a story perspective, it gave us a very crucial emotional midpoint for the series, but we hated to lose the actress, Trieste, whom we all loved, and the uncorrupted goodness of Siobhan. I still get twitter hate about her death.