With Lucifer: The Sixth and Final Season set to arrive on DVD tomorrow, we were recently granted an exclusive opportunity to sit down with showrunners Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson to talk about crafting the show's epic swan song that saw Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) finally become the devil he was always meant to be.
As we reflected on the six-season run, they tell me all about bringing the story to a definitive end for Lucifer and Chloe Decker (Lauren German), how the move to Netflix ultimately affected the ending, how filming during COVID affected some of the final episodes, and some of their early ideas for the finale.
They also touch on whether we could ever see a spinoff centered on Maze (Lesley Ann-Brandt), Dan's (Kevin Alejandro) redemption arc, whether they thought about bringing Tom Welling back for a cameo, their favorite episodes, and a whole lot more.
In addition to The Sixth and Final Season DVD, a Lucifer: The Complete Series DVD will also go on sale tomorrow, so make sure to pick it up before it's too late!
Check out the full video interview below and please remember to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!
ROHAN: Since he is Lucifer, there were a million different ways the series could've ended, but you gave us a pretty clear end to this story. Why did you want to go with such a definitive ending? Rather than leave some of it open-ended for possibly more stories down the line?
JOE: I think a big part of it came from season three, and us having that cliffhanger and not being able to sort of finish our story the way we thought we could, until the fans brought us back. So, I think a big part of it was we wanted to make sure we told an ending and make sure we wrap everything up and fulfill the promise of the show. I think a little bit of it was that sense of like, we want to stick this landing we want to finish it. I mean, I said, “I want to box set that when you get it, you get an entire story. That was a big thing for me, and I think a big part of it was because we came so close to not being able to complete a story at all.
ILDY: I think a big part of it came from season three, and us having that cliffhanger and not being able to sort of finish our story the way we thought we could, until the fans brought us back. So, I think a big part of it was we wanted to make sure we told an ending and make sure we wrap everything up and fulfill the promise of the show. I think a little bit of it was that sense of like, we want to stick this landing we want to finish it. I mean, I said, “I want to box set that when you get it, you get an entire story. That was a big thing for me, and I think a big part of it was because we came so close to not being able to complete a story at all.
JOE: And a journey of self-love for both of them, which was a very big theme for the show.
ROHAN: I would've gone insane if the show ended after that season three cliffhanger. Was the ending we got the one you always planned for the series? How did it evolve throughout the show's six-season run and the move to Netflix?
JOE: Oh, good question. Well, first of all, we also would have gone insane if that's where we ended. And in fact, we wrote that ending because we're like, we're gonna make an ending so undeniable that Fox can't cancel us - and they did. *laughs* Joke was on us until the fans saved us. But yeah, we always had endings, and they always sort of permeated based on where - you always want that sense of here's the place a character can end, but also allow the character to start to tell you if they're going to zig and zag. I feel like, and Ildy, correct me if I'm wrong. I feel like we felt for a while that we wanted him back in Hell in some way and changing it to reflect him. We didn't know quite what that meant, but that felt right.
ILDY: Yeah, we did talk also a lot about what happened at the end. I mean, maybe the end being where we ended in season five, of Lucifer becoming God. We actually explored that a lot, but it did seem like, no, his special skills, the thing Lucifer brings to the table is he knows what it's like to fall and then to be redeemed and to rise again, and so why not help some of these lost souls, some of these damned souls in Hell, and that's what he brings to the table, and it's almost like abandoning and he would have abandoned who he was if he had just gone and sat on the throne of Heaven.
JOE: Yeah, I think in a moment, we realized that our show was about self-actualization and how you, sort of, you create your own destiny and you know how the the angels have their own superpowers that reflect their personalities. At some point, we realized well, typically Hell is almost of Lucifer’s own making, it’s his own guilt, his own self-hatred manifest in a place, so it almost felt like his responsibility, if not his calling to take this place that was a reflection of him and have it now reflect who he has become. Once we found that, I think we were always going back to Hell, or well not always, but usually going back to hell, but then the question was, what was the journey along the way?
ROHAN: While Lucifer and Chloe get definitive endings, the finale did leave us with a lot of new beginnings for the other characters - Chloe & Rory, Amenadiel & Linda, Maze & Eve - and I absolutely love Maze, but she’s married to a mortal who will eventually grow old and die - have you ever discussed telling more stories about her? Maybe even in a different medium like a comic book?
ILDY: You never know. I mean, you know, we talk about spin-offs, things, movies, Broadway plays, I mean, certain things that pop up and we talk about, so you just never know. When and if we will get to that chapter.
JOE: I will say the room have a lot of fun at the very least, creating our own fanfiction of what would happen when because what was fun about it ending the series is ending it with beginnings, and part of it was made to make sure that those were beginnings that almost were worthy of the fans wondering what happened next and I hope the fans have written a bunch of fanfiction on where that goes because to me that's the fun of it is, is okay, well, where do you think this journey goes now? As someone who started his writing, writing a bit of fanfiction, I hope that's the case.
ROHAN: Production on the last season was heavily affected by COVID, what was that whole experience like? How much did it alter storylines? Did it affect moments like Rory and Trixie meeting?
JOE: Well, they did meet they they met in Episode 607.
ROHAN: Ah sorry, I mean Trixie being at Chloe's deathbed with Trixie near the end - how much did COVID affect storylines?
JOE: Oh, when they’re at - yeah, yes. It was tricky. There was a lot of things, like the big battle at the end of season five had to be scaled down quite a bit. We had to adapt. I mean, also problems become solutions. Like we were supposed to shoot it in this wonderful location at the top of a mountain. Instead, we got the Coliseum. Oh, no! *laughs* Open air, plenty of room. You know, we never would have gotten that if not for the fact that the entire city was shut down.
ILDY: I mean, COVID was a bummer for all of us on the whole friggin planet, right? So, it was a bummer for us too and in ways that, you know, it was our final season, and we had to keep distance, and we were a very loving family at that point. We were very, you know, lots of hugs and joking and hanging around, and we had to be like, what? You'd have your shield on and your mask and you'd be like, “I can’t hear you!” *laughs* And, we never had our final party, which I still more mourn the loss of, just saying goodbye really properly felt like it left us a little wanting.
JOE: Yeah, but storywise, storyline wise, I think we were able to tell all the story we wanted to tell, it was a question of having to adapt execution-wise, but again, there were some good things to come out of it. Maze and Eve’s wedding at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. You can not get Walt Disney Concert Hall, but we got it and there was no location that came close to that view because they weren't having events. So, we're like, “Well, thank you please. We’ll film there!”
ROHAN: The finale does have a few cameos in that penultimate scene - did you ever consider bringing back Tom Welling as Cain?
ILDY: There were a lot of people we wanted to bring back and I mean, we loved Patrick Fabian and what he did with that role, we talked about Kevin Rankin, because he was so great. He was our big bad season one, but he just is such a busy dude. Also, we couldn't get a hold of him. There were quite a few.
JOE: Colman Domingo! We've actually tried to bring - I think we almost brought him back twice, but then various things happened. Cameos are so tricky, and then when we got to COVID, they really got tricky. And so, it's just that situation where we're like, okay, let's really microfocus and Patrick Fabian, Linda's ex-husband felt like that right balance between a good Easter egg and a character that if you recognize him, you'd get excited, if you didn't recognize him, you’d still understand their role or what was happening.
ROHAN: Ah, I spoke to Tom recently and I know he loved his time on the show, so would've loved to have seen him again.
JOE: Yeah, he’s the best!
ILDY: We love him!
ROHAN: I loved Dan's arc throughout the series and he ultimately meets a tragic end in season five before coming back as a ghost in season six - was resurrection ever on the table for him?
ILDY: Oh, no, I don't think we did. I think we always wanted him to be, because that feels a little schmuck-baby, as they as they say, we didn't want to kill him and then, ‘Psych! He’s alive!,’ But we sort of did that anyway. *laughs* With the fact that he was a ghost, but it gave him a big obstacle, obviously because he couldn't, he was in the world and yet not in the world and you know, the frustration of that and dealing with that.
JOE: A big part of it too is we had broken that episode and all that arc when we thought it was the series finale, and so, when we found out that we'd have a season six, we were immediately faced with, well, what do you do with Dan? And Ildy, I feel like you were the one who pitched the ghost Dan element, and I feel like, very quickly, we're like, oh, because what we didn’t want - we knew we were bringing Chloe back to life, so we didn't want like the magical whoopsie daisies going everywhere. So, we're like, well, what if we can actually earn an emotional arc and explore a concept we've never explored before, but within our rules, within the rules of the show that we have.
ILDY: Yeah, I think it was specifically purgatory. I was like, I think he should be in Purgatory and not quite in one or the other, and so we enjoyed that. That notion.
ROHAN: This show had some really inventive and creative episodes, “Off the Record” in season three, “Daniel Espinoza: Naked and Afraid” in season five, the musical episode - from a production standpoint, which episode was your favorite to work on?
JOE: I know your answer Ildy!
ILDY: *laughing* Joe knows my answer! Although, the noir episode, I love too. That's pretty high up there in terms of production and how it turned out. But yeah, it would definitely be the musical for me. I mean, that was just a dream always that I personally had had to do on on the show, and the fact that - I remember we filmed one musical number every day, and it was like, I can't believe we pulled that off, because it wasn't easy. It was just getting the rehearsals and the choreography. There was so much to wrangle, and everybody recorded and the music picked and cleared, and it was quite an undertaking, but it was a dream!
JOE: Mine was family dinner just because we shot a 14-page scene of just five, well four people, but technically five people around the table talking, and to me, a lot of season five was how do we challenge ourselves? How do we push ourselves? And Ildy went big in the most gloriously wonderful way ever, and I went small and I've never really had that huge itch to write a play, per se, but it felt like an opportunity to do that, and it was wonderful. Like we did rehearsals, we did all of this craft work that we don't normally have time to do, but we had to do, because it had to be meticulously thought out and that was an inch I didn't know I wanted to scratch so bad until I got there.
ROHAN: Dennis Haysbert as God was the perfect casting.
JOE: And the nicest guy, who gives the best hugs!
In the sixth and final season of Lucifer, we close the chapter on our crime-solving Devil. With Los Angeles no longer the battleground for his angelic siblings, Lucifer’s relationship with Chloe has never been stronger. Life is good. But if we know anything about this fallen angel, it’s that his past always finds a way of catching up to him!