About a year ago I was working on the “Brick Gulch Chronicles,” and casually asked Miles if Red vs. Blue would be returning for Season 15. “Yeah,” he said, “but we’re looking for someone new to run the show.”
This was like hearing your crush in high school mention that she and her boyfriend were on the outs. In my head I just thought, “Play your cards right, Nicolosi. Don’t fuck this up.”
So, in the months after my episode was released I waited patiently by the phone. Life returned to normal. I directed commercials for a car headlight company. I directed a music video for a satanic marching band. I directed a science webseries in Peru. Every few weeks I would get a teasing text from Miles or Koen. “We’re thinking about you.” Cool guys, I’m thinking about you too.
We started dating in September. Things became official in October. Coincidentally I got married that month as well. I sold my freelance business, or I guess “gave away” is more technically correct. I showed up at the office bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to kick off Season 15.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO SNOWY FLASHBACK:
Upstate New York, 2003. I had an amazing animation professor who on the second day of class played a few episodes of Red vs. Blue. This was back in the early days, the ‘Ever wonder why we’re here’ days. Watching RvB had an immediate and profound effect on the very idea of filmmaking for me. Movies didn’t have to have big budgets, or have big crews, or be serious. Inspired, I spent years making animated shorts about a squadron of slacker space pilots - complete with a character named Donut.
I moved to Austin after I graduated, partially because those same Rooster Teeth folks had carved a nice little niche down here and I thought I could do the same. The idea of being able to make movies outside of LA had a strong appeal.
Starting on Red vs. Blue Season 15 was incredibly intimidating. I was, and still am, partially paralyzed when I think about it too much. For starters, RvB isn’t like anything else that exists out there in the world of TV or film. I didn’t know how to approach riding this beast. The closest comparison I could think of was superhero comics.
I started to think about Red vs. Blue as if Marvel had asked me to write a run on X-Men and it began to make sense. When someone new takes over writing a long running comic series, there are certain things they have to juggle. The first, is the utmost respect for the rules and canon of the universe. At the same time you have to bring some new players on the field: new heroes, new villains, new storylines and superpowers. On top of that it’s important to give these classic characters unique challenges that change and evolve them in some way. For my money, no one has done this better than Joss Whedon with his run on Astonishing X-Men. In the most general of senses this is how the first bricks of the season were laid.
What I’m trying to say is that next season the Reds and Blues are all Superheroes. In Season 15 they live in a mansion in Westchester and fight Magneto. Grif uses his invisibility to take naps all the time. Miles will tell me they’ve already made that joke, and I’ll say it’s a callback, dude.
Realistically... I don’t know if I can even talk about the inception of the season’s actual story without giving things away. Miles and Gray warn me daily about how clever the fans are so I’m playing my cards close to my chest. I want my season to have twists and turns that keep people guessing. I want there to be mystery and big reveals. I want people to be surprised.
It’s also important to mention that I have not been writing this season in a box. Miles has been along with me every step of the way, from inception through outlines through finished scripts. He’s been a fantastic collaborator and can’t thank him enough for that. I love that guy but seriously don't tell him that.
This is the opportunity of a lifetime and couldn't be more excited about the privilege I have to take these characters on another kickass adventure. I am incredibly
bone-shakingly anxious excited to share Season 15 with you. April 1st.
Ah, and in case you’re wondering just who the hell I am, I recommend watching my “Brick Gulch Chronicles” Episode in Season 14, HELL NO: The Sensible Horror Film, Star Wars: Retold, The Matrix: Retold by Mom, the Indie Mario Trailer, Kittywood: Cat Videos Incorporated and Avengers: Age of Technical Difficulties.
Now if you'll excuse me I've got to get back to lurking the RvB subreddit for ideas.