Justin Theroux and Damon Lindelof kicked off the eighth season of Series Mania television festival with a splashy premiere of the final season of The Leftovers.
Theroux, accompanied by wife Jennifer Aniston, brought star power and screaming fans to the festival's kickoff at Paris' Grand Rex theater. Theroux and Lindelof were joined on stage by British star Christopher Eccleston and composer Max Richter to introduce the episodes.
Lindelof, who is also serving as this year's jury president, took a thinly veiled jab at President Donald Trump. "I hope to return some level of respectability to the title of American president," he joked.
Theroux said he was learning the story as Lindelof wrote it, just like the audience. "I was always shocked and surprised as I got the scripts. I never knew where it was going to go," he said. "It's like being a dog. You can only be in the moment. And the next episode Damon would throw another ball for me."
He added: "I was really interested in exploring ideas of faith and spirituality and confusion and apocalyptic thinking and grief, and this book made me think about all of those things, so I said, 'I want to make other people cry as well.'"
Lost creator Lindelof said he was grateful to have the opportunity for a third season to wrap up the story properly. He added that this season would be about "existential and emotional confusion in a very profound way."
"I think for thousands of years, every generation has had the narcissism to believe that the world will end while they are alive, and our show is populated with incredible narcissists including myself, and we thought it was only fitting to end the world on the show as well," he added before launching into an episode that opens with a scene of a religious group from the 1840s waiting for the end of the world, only to be repeatedly be disappointed.
The story then shifts to the modern "remnants" and the aftermath of last season's invasion of the sanctuary city where Theroux's family had been taking refuge. The episodes, tonally different than last season, tied up many characters' loose ends before moving the story from Texas to Australia, where the last episodes were shot.
The Leftovers season three premieres Sunday in the U.S.
Series Mania runs April 13-April 23.