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Manifest creator and showrunner Jeff Rake followed the callings to Twitter today in order to let fans know that production has officially begun on the fourth and final season. "AND WE’RE BACK!" he wrote, sharing a behind-the-scenes image from the set.
Several cast members — like Melissa Roxburgh (Michaela Stone), Matt Long (Zeke Landon), Luna Blaise (Olive Stone), and J.R. Ramirez (Jared Vasquez) — celebrated the start of filming on their Instagram stories with photos of their scripts. The Season 4 premiere is titled "Touch-and-Go" and was written by Rake and producer Simran Baidwan. Romeo Tirone, who helmed five previous episodes of Manifest, is directing. Like every other episode produced thus far, "Touch-and-Go" takes its name from the world of aviation; in particular, the title is a reference to a specific landing method used in flight training.
"Walking through the stages this am…just felt different," Ramirez wrote in an Instagram post, thanking the fans for helping save the project. "I’ve been working in this business for almost two decades now and I know to land a team of cast and crew that is as collaborative, dedicated, and in my opinion, (most pmportantly) 'ego checked' as these beautifully talented humans are…well it RARELY happens. With all that being said, It’s only Day One and you can already feel the level of appreciation this group has for the magical ride that is Manifest! But let’s keep it real…The reality is ALL of this magic is happening because of YOU guys! You guys made this happen! We Love You. Can’t wait for you to see how it all comes together…"
Following its cancellation at NBC (like SYFY WIRE, the network is owned by NBCUniversal), the series was picked up by Netflix over the summer for a final 20 episodes that will wrap up the grand mystery of Flight 828 once and for all. Season 3 ended on quite the dangling cliffhanger with Cal (Jack Messina) still missing, Grace (Athena Karkanis) bleeding to death, and the remnants of 828 disappearing with the reappeared Captain Daly (Frank Deal) sitting in the cockpit.
“The good news is I am absolutely confident that 20 episodes gives me enough time to tell the entirety of the story as I always intended to,” Rake said not long after news of the show's revival broke online. “When I've talked in the past about having a roadmap all the way to the end of series, that didn't mean that I had a roadmap for literally every single episode. I have a roadmap with a series of twists and turns and flags in the sand that we would ultimately hit in order to tell the the core stories within our mythology and within our relationship drama. So it will not be a particularly difficult exercise to overlay that same exact roadmap onto 20 episodes. It will be quite organic."
During a separate interview in September, Rake revealed that while pitching the conclusion to Netflix, he offered it to the streaming giant as another full season, a TV miniseries, or a feature-length film. “I gave them the small, the medium, and the large,” he said.
Netflix has yet to announce a premiere date for Season 4 of Manifest. Let's just hope it comes out before the allotted "Death Date" of June 2, 2024.