We came across an interesting news tidbit which we overlooked before. It seems a prequel for “Slings & Arrows” is in development. Co-creator Mark McKinney, who currently stars in NBC’s Superstore, and star of the series talked about the possibility of a prequel last year with the AV Club. It appears no reports have been made about the development recently. Judging on twitter reports from before, it seems the creators have been hinting about the prequel since 2014 and most recently talked about it during the creators Shakespeare 400 panel in 2016. No reports have been made on who of the original cast will return and if this would include Rachel. Given that it’s a prequel, we are not sure there is an arc for Rachel’s character Kate but we will keep an eye out for developments on this! The excerpts with McKinney can be found below.
AVC: Is there ever any talk of a Slings And Arrows revival? Is that universe closed at this point?
MM: We’ve been working on it for a couple of years now. We have a prequel locked and loaded that we’re going to set up somewhere. It’s a good one. It’s a true prequel, it goes back several years, almost to the foundation of the New Burbage Festival itself. It’s a great story.
AVC: Do you think it might get picked up?
MM: We were with the CBC in Canada, as we were with the original Slings And Arrows—and the original, they dropped it right before, almost at this exact same point, we were ready to go. And unfortunately, I think the almost the identical thing happened. So now we’re looking around. But it’s a vastly different landscape. We might be looking down here [in the United States], we might be looking up there, I’m not sure.
AVC: Do you find that a lot of people have been finding the show after the fact on DVD and streaming?
MM: The afterlife of this show, if anything, has been stronger than Kids In The Hall. It’s constantly being rediscovered and name-checked. It keeps showing up in The New Yorker. I guess there aren’t that many shows that reference the arts as a life, and so, when one comes along and sort of does a nice little play on it, I think it gets held pretty dear. I first started to get a sense of its virality, if that’s a word, when—this is way back—George Wendt, who was touring 12 Angry Men around the country, said, “Oh no, we’ve only got the first two episodes. Can you please send the rest?” So I sent them off to the cast.
AVC: Having worked within the American TV system and the Canadian TV system, do you have a preference between the two? Is one easier? Do they each have their own unique challenges?
MM: I think the Canadian system—and I may be talking about something that’s 10 years out of date now—is creatively very ambitious but without a lot of money. And it’s a slight inversion here, where it’s tons of money, and slightly cookie cutter. But not anymore, because we’re in the Golden Age Of Television. I did do Slings And Arrows in Canada, but I found a huge audience here, and I think if we had done that six years later, we would have wound up on Netflix. It’s that kind of thing. I’m overtly patriotic about Canada—it’s because I’m the son of a Canadian diplomat. I’ve had a great career in both places. I don’t have a preference yet. It’s kind of been a fantastic straddle.
As we previously mentioned on our site, “Slings & Arrows” has found a certain popculture following. AV Club did an in-depth interview about the series years ago, which include some interesting excerpt on Rachel which you can found below in which the creators revealed season two was suppose to focus on Rachel’s character Kate:
AVC: Did you have other plans for the character of Kate that then had to be cut short because of Rachel McAdams’ success elsewhere?
Mark McKinney: That’s one of the sad things. We talked for a long, long time about what it’s like to come into the arts as a young person, and we were going to lay it all out. I can’t even remember now, where we wanted to…
Bob Martin: Basically she becomes Ellen in a sense, right? Except she doesn’t become Ellen. But she has that same arc, so we sort of see it happen. And then we lost Rachel. [Laughs.] To success. She was fabulous to work with, obviously. But then when she had… It was Mean Girls that, I guess, gave her the three-picture deal.
MM: No, it was The Notebook, wasn’t it?
BM: No, I mean Mean Girls was released, and that sort of made her career.
Susan Coyne: I remember talking about it when we were doing publicity.
BM: We literally could only get her for a couple days of season two, so we just had to change completely the young-people storyline. It became a challenge to come up with one each season. It was always supposed to be about Kate.
Slings & Arrows update: @drstorper, S Coyne & Mark McKinney still at work on new show. MM says it's "prequelish but not really". Tantalized.
— J. Kelly Nestruck (@nestruck) November 25, 2014
— Kailin Wright (@Wrighterk) April 24, 2016