After what was a shocking and heartbreaking Season 3 finale, fans of Manifest found out that it would actually also serve as the series finale, once word came down that NBC had cancelled the show. While an attempt was made to have Netflix save the twisty drama, those efforts fell through and left creator / showrunner Jeff Rake potentially looking at a number of innovative ways to keep the story going for his originally planned three additional seasons. Now, Rake is making sure his efforts to save his beloved series from cancellation won't stop, as he's gotten a new idea to keep Manifest afloat.
There are several ways that Manifest, with all of its complexity and major surprises, could continue as a series of some sort, with Jeff Rake reporting just a few days ago that he was still trying to find a way to at least wrap up the massive cliffhangers the audience was left with. It seems as though, now, Rake may have found a slightly easier way to do that, as he told Entertainment Weekly:
I moved to plan B: Some platform would bankroll a feature or a movie finale, like we saw with Timeless, Firefly, and Deadwood. I just need a modest budget to tell the story. I am personally sketching out how to consolidate the back half of the series into a much more streamlined, cut-to-the-chase two-hour finale that would distill all of the hanging chads of the series. That's where my head is at. There is a huge appetite for people wanting to know what's that end of the story, what happened to the passengers, what ultimately happened to that airplane.
Jeff Rake is certainly correct in his thought that a lot of people (possibly more than ever before) want to know why Manifest's Montego Air Flight 828 went missing in the first place, what it all means, and, certainly, how the massive cliffhanger moments would have been solved. Seasons 1 and 2 of the series landed on Netflix the day of the finale, and Manifest streaming quickly rocketed to the top spot on the giant's Top 10 list.
With that kind of popularity, Manifest would have seemed to be a shoo-in to get picked up, but Netflix has slowed down a lot in recent months on its work as a saver of cancelled series, with the streaming giant's originals becoming even more of a priority.
So, as Rake also noted during his interview, he's moved on to a plan which would give fans the basics of everything they want to know about Manifest in a two-hour film, adding:
I've kind of moved away from the plan of finding a home for seasons 4, 5, and 6 of Manifest, even though I've always talked about Manifest being a six-season show. Back in the day, I laid out a six-season roadmap for NBC, and I'm halfway through. I had giant cliffhangers in the season 3 finale, so I had every intention to have three more seasons to slow-burn the back half of the story. I'm reading the writing on the wall that we may not find a home for three more seasons of the show.
I can only imagine the hope is that the much lower cost of doing one film, as compared with three whole seasons, will be incentive enough to get Manifest back off of the ground, so that Jeff Rake can give fans the answers they hope for and deserve after that wild three-season run.
Hopefully, there will be good news on the Manifest front before too long, but in the meantime, you can check out what to watch right now with our 2021 summer TV schedule!