Spoiler alert: This contains information revealed in the course of the original Twin Peaks series, which aired in 1990 and 1991. If you haven’t seen it, you should not read this. Actually, you should not do anything at all until you remedy this gaping hole in your life.
Showtime and series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost have released the cast list for the limited-run sequel series Twin Peaks, which wrapped principal filming this month and is set to premiere on Showtime next year. And we’re flipping out over it.
Familiar faces include Kyle MacLachlan (Agent Cooper), who’s killed some time in the intervening years playing our mayor on Portlandia, as well as Sheryl Lee, who’s already died twice on the show as Laura Palmer and her cousin Madeleine Ferguson. Sherilyn Fenn’s name is there, so fans have some hope that her character of Audrey Horne did not perish when a bomb went off at the bank where she had chained herself in protest in the final episode. Audrey’s dad, Benjamin Horne, was also last seen in what could have been death throes, but actor Richard Beymer’s presence on the list hints that he survived, too. Even better? David Patrick Kelly (of Warriors fame) is back as Ben’s brother Jerry Horne (Ben and Jerry, see?). Maybe they’ll share a smoked cheese pig again.
While neither person who played Laura’s friend Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle on TV, Moira Kelly in prequel Fire Walk with Me) is in the announced cast, dad Doc Hayward (Warren Frost, now age 90) is on the list, as is Donna’s music-and-dance-loving younger sister Gersten, played by Alicia Witt, who got her start in Lynch’s Dune and has been seen more recently on The Sopranos and The Walking Dead). Donna’s poet sister, Harriet, does not appear to be making a return.
There’s also the love quadrilateral of Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton), her high school sweetheart Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill), his one-eyed, silent-drape-runner-inventing, semi-amnesiac wife Nadine (Wendy Robie), and the junior-by-a-few-decades lover Mike Nelson (Gary Hershberger) she acquired after adult Nadine tried to kill herself and woke up thinking she was back in high school. And lovers (now parents?) Lucy Moran and Deputy Andy are back, played by Kimmy Robertson and Harry Goaz.
Also returning: David Duchovny, though it's unknown whether his FBI agent character will be going by Dennis or Denise.
Oregon actors Al Strobel (traveling shoe salesman Philip Gerard/onetime-evildoer-turned-force-of-light Mike) and the late Catherine Coulson (Margaret Lanterman, a.k.a. the Log Lady), the Oregon Shakespeare Fest fixture who (unless it’s all archival footage) must have squeezed in some scenes before she died in Ashland last September at age 71, from cancer. A youngster on the list, Tikaeni Faircrest, appeared on Portland stages in the 2015 Fertile Ground Festival.
Julee Cruise, who sang the theme song and performed within the show on stage at the Roadhouse, was a lock. Now we can throw in Eddie Vedder, Sharon Van Etten, Sky Ferriera, Balthazar Getty (also in Lynch’s Lost Highway), Max Perlich (the onetime Beastie Boys collaborator was also on Homicide, Buffy, and Justified), and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, who won an Oscar for scoring The Social Network. Thanks to her performance in Georgia (also with Perlich) and her song in The Hateful Eight, Jennifer Jason Leigh fits in this category, too, and we might as well add the multitalented Charlyne Yi.
The Bond Girls
There are at least two: Monica Bellucci (Sceptre) and Bérénice Marlohe (Skyfall).
Since it’s a David Lynch project, it’s no surprise to see the names of Laura Dern and Harry Dean Stanton (an alum of Fire Walk with Me but not the TV series). There’s no Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Harry Truman), but Robert Forster (Alligator, Jackie Brown), rumored to have been Lynch’s original pick for the sheriff but who was unavailable when the original series was in production, is on the list, as are his Mulholland Drive costars Naomi Watts and Patrick Fischler (the guy from the diner scene!!)
There are plenty of characters fans already knew would not be showing up again. Preceding Coulson in death were frequent Lynch collaborator Jack Nance (Pete Martell, who presumably died in the bank blast), Dan O’Herlihy (Andrew Packard, who seemed to meet the same fate), Don Davis (Major Briggs), jazz singer Jimmy Scott (the spooky “Sycamore Trees” singer), John Boylan (Mayor Milford, who hopefully went the same way as his brother, enjoying some really great sex with Robyn Lively’s character, who doesn’t seem to be returning, either), and prop-man-turned actor Frank Silva (the terrifying, soul-possessing spirit Bob).
The Secret Gilmore Girls Connection
There’s no Eric Da Re (Leo Johnson) on the list, but Mädchen Amick is back as Shelly Johnson (or is she now Shelly Briggs?). Amick is one of several Twin Peaks–Gilmore Girls crossovers, along with Fenn (who played two characters on GG), new cast member Perlich (cousin Rune on GG), the non-returning Kathleen Wilhoite (Lucy’s sister on TP, Luke’s sister on GG) and Brenda Strong (a Hong Kong henchwoman on TP, a randy prep school parent on GG), and multiepisode director Lesli Linka Glatter.
The Fun Stuff
One interesting combination is a returning Russ Tamblyn (Dr. Jacoby), who in the meantime has become the father-in-law of funnyman David Cross, who on Arrested Development played the uncle of Michael Cera, who’s also in the new Twin Peaks cast in an undisclosed role. Might they be related here?
Ashley Judd and Ernie Hudson, together at last?
Jim Belushi. Go figure.
Swoony Richard Chamberlain of Thorn Birds and Dr. Kildare fame. So now your mom's interested....
Another gem on the list: Andrea Hays, who played Heidi, the Double R waitress who bookended the original series, running late in both the pilot and the finale because she couldn’t get her car started.
See the full cast list on the Welcome to Twin Peaks website.