Actress Sarah Wayne Callies, known for starring roles in television series “Prison Break” and “The Walking Dead,” leads the cast of a new scripted post-apocalyptic podcast called Aftershock. Produced by iHeartMedia, in a co-production with Nomadic Engine and Salmira Productions, it tells the fictional story of life after the largest earthquake in U.S. history.
In addition to her leading role, Callies also directed the series as well as co-created “Aftershock” with her Nomadic Engine partners, author Patrick Carman and TV/film producer Ben Haber, and wrote the script with Carman.
“Aftershock is the first thing I’ve written, directed, produced and starred in,” said Callies. “I’m an island girl, raised in Hawai’i, and this is my story about what it might look like if a new island appeared – who’d go there and why, what they might be running from, what they might be drawn to? At its heart, it’s a story about forgiveness and second chances.”
In the story, Los Angeles lies in ruins, hundreds of thousands of people are dead or unaccounted for, and a mysterious island has risen up in the quake just off the coast of the city. Cassie Wallace, played by Callies, and Wayne Sharpe, played by David Harbour (Black Widow, No Sudden Move, Stranger Things), embark on the dangerous journey to the island to save her daughter who is stranded there – but they are not alone. They encounter doomsday preppers, indigenous activists and a utopian cult who all arrive to claim their piece of the new island. The story is told through flashbacks and unreliable narrators during an investigation weeks after the quake.
“It’s been wild, making Aftershock – recording in the pandemic – everyone gave their whole hearts, it was amazing,” said Callies. “That kind of support from actors I’ve worked with my whole career – to come in for basically no money and do such brilliant work to support this thing, that means so much to me, it was deeply moving.”
Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who has appeared in TV shows such as “The Walking Dead” and “Supernatural,” is also part of the cast. “Aftershock is a labor of love,” said Morgan. “Recording during a pandemic gave us unexpected obstacles but by getting creative and bringing together old friends, we were able to produce an exciting and unique podcast filled with unexpected turns. It was a real pleasure supporting Sarah in this creative adventure.”
The star-studded cast also includes Tati Gabrielle (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The 100), Janel Parrish (Pretty Little Liars, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), Russell Hornsby (The Hate U Give, Fences), Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy), Tovah Feldshuh (Lady in the Water, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Bethany Joy Lenz (One Tree Hill, Dexter), Michael O’Neill (Dallas Buyers Club, Transformers, Seabiscuit), Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead), and EJ Bonilla (Gemini Man, The Long Road Home, The Old Man).
The ten-episode series will debut with two episodes on July 14, with one new episode posting each week until the conclusion. Following the last episode, fans will be able to listen to a special roundtable discussion episode with the cast on Sept. 15.