When Damon Lindelof quit Twitter last October, the Lost and Star Trek writer-producer fans and haters had plenty of questions: Why did he leave? Was he feeling bullied? Is he coming back? And why did his last tweet end in mid-sentence?
At the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena on Thursday, Lindelof revealed the secret timing behind his exit strategy, and then gave us some behind-the-scenes backstory.
Lindelof was on hand to promote his new HBO series The Leftovers, which is based on the novel by Tom Perrotta about what happens to a small town after 2 percent of the planet’s population abruptly vanishes (details here). The event is called The Departure and many assume The Rapture has occurred.
“Twitter was something I enjoyed immensely,” Lindelof told the critics. “I just felt like it was a good opportunity to dive into and focus on the show.”
Then he revealed this:
“The date I left Twitter did correspond with the date of The Departure. That felt appropriately pretentious.”
And so it was the same date! Lindelof’s last tweet was on Oct. 14, same as The Departure date in the novel. The final tweet: “After much thought and deliberation, I’ve decided t.”
After the panel, Lindelof provided us with some more details: “I was sitting around with [The Leftovers] writers, it was our first week of working together. And I was in a place of feeling like Twitter was really consuming me in an unhealthy way. And Breaking Bad was ending and I was just saying, ‘I just kind of need to quit, I just need to quit, I just need to stop.’ As writers’ rooms often do, everybody starting pitching the best and most dramatic way to do this — if I was going to leave, I was going to have to do it in an incredible fashion. And somebody said, ‘Oct. 14 is in two days! You should just quit and then your last tweet you should cut it off right in the middle so it seems very abrupt. And then don’t tell anybody but later on it will become apparent.’”
“That said, me leaving Twitter was not a marketing stunt for the benefit of The Leftovers it was just a happy accident. I have no intention of coming back.”
Asked if anybody realized the significance of the date, Lindelof replied: “If anybody picked up on it, I don’t know — because I’m not on Twitter.”
For fans of The Leftovers novel wondering if the series will have the same ending, Lindelof told us after the panel, “I don’t want to say whether we’re going to do that ending … but the ending of the book is not the ending of the series. We’ll be moving past the ending of the book fairly quickly. The series extends beyond the ending of Tom’s book.”