On the heels of their successful launch of Heroes at Comic-Con last year, Warner Brothers, the studio behind several new shows on TV this fall, came back strong to pitch Chuck. Executive Producers Josh Schwartz (The O.C.), Chris Fedak and McG were on hand to answer questions at a panel on Friday. After screening the pilot episode, the producers and several cast members of the show came out to answer questions. Zachary Levi who plays Chuck, was especially enthusiastic to be at Comic-Con.
Chuck is a manager of the 'Nerd Herd', a Geek Squad outfit at the Buy More store. He doesn't know if he's got what it takes to be assistant manager of the Buy More store or exactly how to deal with office politics, even with his best friend Morgan trying to assist. When Chuck receives a coded e-mail from his old college roommate, his life gets turned upside down. The email contains thousands of pictures which flash on his screen and feed into his brain. He learns the pictures were encryptions of government secrets...all the government's secrets in fact, and now he is in sole possession of those secrets in his head. The NSA and CIA send agents to recover the material, until they discover there's no copy on a computer, but rather Chuck's brain. Adam Baldwin, a fan favorite, plays the NSA agent who goes up against the CIA agent Sarah, played by Yvonne Strzechowski. Now Chuck must hide his double life from his sister and others as he helps the agents with the knowledge in his head to complete important missions.
Schwartz describes the show as action/comedy and two different comparisons were flung around, first that the show is a cross between Alias and The Office or The Bourne Identity andThe 40 Year Old Virgin. While there is a "mission of the week" there is also the politics that Chuck must deal with at the Buy More store where he works, which is "as dangerous as the CIA and NSA" notes Schwartz.
When asked about the inspiration for the show, Fedak and Schwartz cite such films as "War Games", "Goonies" and Die Hard for the tone of the show. The show is about Chuck coming of age facing a quarter-life crisis, which wouldn't be that interesting, but if the person is being chased by a ninja, it suddenly becomes a story worth telling. McG notes that he is drawn to stories about everyman characters in extraordinary circumstances, characters like Neo or Luke Skywalker. Schwartz thinks Chuck resonates as a character because he has these insecurities about not living up to his full potential, and now he possibly has a chance to do just that.
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