As the season one finale set up, Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) has teleported to feudal Japan. "We're going to be there for a while," says Oka, an Emmy nominee for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
"The whole idea of Season Two is that we're going to start with two separate time lines," he says. "One time line is going to start four months after the event [in the finale] happened, and the other storyline starts with Hiro 400 years in the past."
Oka also reveals that he has been working with some new cast members, including Eriko Tamura, a Japanese actress and pop star who plays a Japanese princess. David Anders (formerly of "Alias") plays samurai warrior Takezo Kensei, Hiro's childhood hero and the original owner of his precious sword. George Takei will also return as Hiro's father.
"Origins," the new spin-off series created by Kring, will start airing after season two of "Heroes" ends in April 2008. A new character will be introduced in each of the six stand-alone episodes, and viewers will decide which of them will remain for season three of "Heroes." Kevin Smith (of "Clerks" and "Mallrats" fame) is on board to direct the first episode.
Kring sees "Origins" as a sort of farm system for new characters. "Rather than it being like a tank of gas where you use up story, these twists and turns and reveals and cliffhangers actually generate more story," he says. "So it's an engine that feeds on itself."
"[They're] disconnected from the main storylines of Heroes but in the same world," says Masi Oka. "You might see a mailman deliver a piece of mail to Mr. Bennet's house, which we know has burned down."