This Is Us fans already know not to get too attached to characters. A beloved character could have a prominent storyline and then all but disappear from the show, as was seen before with William, Dr. K, and Sophie. But now, even a Pearson family member is at risk of disappearing — or at least a future version of one.
On the This Is Us Season 4 premiere last week, viewers met adult Jack Damon (Blake Stadnik). The visually impaired son of Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) was all grown up in a flash-forward scene set about 22 years in the future. Fans immediately fell in love with adult Jack, who grows up to be a successful musician.
The time-jump to the 2040s is the farthest This Is Us has ever gone into the future, and the farthest it ever will, according to the show’s producers.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, This Is Us executive producer Isaac Aptaker said fans should not get too attached to that far-in-the-future time period, or to Stadnik.
“It’s a little tricky for us because it’s so deep into the future, and we don’t want to be a show that has robots and flying cars and stuff. We always want to be mindful of being realistic but not straying from the tone and feel of the show. That said, Blake, who plays him, is incredible. It popped for us, the music was so amazing, it’s such a great relationship, and we know people are wanting more answers. So it’s something that we’re always talking about.”
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Thank you to everyone who has shown me so much love after last night’s episode! It is a dream come true to be on screen with the incredible cast of This Is Us,and it’s an enormous honor to represent a low-vision character who is so powerful and nuanced. #thisisus #jackdamon
The timelines on This Is Us can get tricky, but the “deep” future was never a place the show ever planned to linger. This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman previously said the ending timeline for the show will be the “her” timeline, which is presumably Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) deathbed a little more than a decade from the present day.
According to The Wrap, Fogelman explained the time period that shows adult Jack performing his song “Memorized” was about 10 years past the ending scene with the family gathered at Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) house in the Season 3 finale.
“Jack would be approximately 12 years old in that period we’ve been at with Rebecca [in the future],” Fogelman said, adding that when viewers see him performing at the concert, that’s “about 10 years+ after” the “her” scenes.
Like Aptaker, Fogelman also told TV Line that Rockstar Jack’s timeline is a difficult period to go to all the time, because it’s “pretty deep into the future, and it presents production challenges.”
While that sounds dire, Stadnik has been a surprise breakout star on This Is Us. While they might not have originally planned on going there again, the showrunner teased that producers of the NBC drama “do plan on returning” to check on him again at some point. It just sounds like it won’t be anytime soon, or all that often.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.