Casey Willis and Matt Thompson Interview: ‘Archer’ producers
Sterling Archer has awoken from his coma and “Archer” showrunner, Casey Willis, and executive producer, Matt Thompson, are eager for people to see where the show goes from there. “The world’s gone on without him and… it’s gonna be really fun to see him in those situations that the Archer fans know and love but with a completely different perspective,” Willis tells us in our recent webchat (watch the video above). Thompson adds that when they started working on the new season, they wanted it to feel like it was the third season of the show. “We wanted a visceralness to it, going to far away places and coming back on a mission type of thing, and I think that the team has done that and I’m excited for people to see it.”
The FXX animated spy comedy will be returning for its eleventh season later this year and is currently in the Emmy hunt for its sci-fi themed season, “Archer: 1999.” The show has been a favorite of both critics and audiences, with the show at one point becoming FX’s highest rated comedy series. The show, at first, had a rough track record at the Emmys. It didn’t score its first nomination for Animated Program until its fifth season in 2014. Two years later, however, the show picked up the prize for Animated Program. The show has also claimed the Critics’ Choice TV Award for Best Animated Program for four consecutive years (2012-15) and the Gold Derby TV Award in the same category twice (2013-14).
The show went through a big transition this past year with the departure of creator and showrunner, Adam Reed. But Willis explains that there wasn’t much turbulence in the turnover of responsibilities. “It was an easy transition. Adam is a great teacher, and a lot of the stuff has been things I’ve been doing for quite a long time. How to do voice-over directing, that’s something that I learned from [Adam and Matt]. Really, the biggest difference was not having those Adam scripts and knowing what Adam wanted all the time.” Thompson tacks on that, “We got a great cast of writers with us this year and I’m so excited about each and every one of them. But, as great as they are you can’t replace the one-man human-typing dynamo. You have to replace one man with five [people].”
When it comes to their favorite characters to write dialogue for, Thompson was very quick to reply about which ones he’s partial to. “I feel bad sometimes for the rest of the cast because Pam and Krieger get the best written lines. They’re just fun so they get the best opportunities.” Willis agreed with those two choices but had one more character he would add to that list. “Mallory. Just the cuttingness of her lines sometimes are just so perfect but Jessica Walter is always able to deliver it with almost like an air of sweetness, so you’re just like, ‘Oh, she eviscerated me but I don’t feel badly.’”