‘Falling Water’ Was Dreamed of Long Before ‘Inception,’ Producer Says

TCA 2016: Blake Masters says USA’s dream drama sprang from a drunken conversation with his now-dead writing partner

falling water usa network
USA Network

Don’t think of “Falling Water” as “Inception, Part Deux.”

USA’s upcoming thriller, about a group of people linked by a mysterious dream they all share, might sound a lot like “Inception,” the hard-to-parse 2010 movie smash starring Leonard DiCaprio.

But executive producer and co-creator Blake Masters told reporters Wednesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour that the show actually sprang from a drunken conversation that he had in 2006 with his late writing partner, Henry Bromell.

“The way we came up with it [was], we were drunk,” Masters said.

Over drinks, Bromell began talking about dreams and how they might represent a collective unconscious that everyone shares. Masters insisted that was a good idea for a show.

“It was before ‘Inception,’ it was before any of those things,” Masters added.

The writing partners each went on to work on other projects, but USA eventually bought the show. Bromell never lived to see production, though — he died in 2013 of an aortic rupture.

“I lost my partner on this show,” Masters said.

David Ajala, Will Yun Lee and Lizzie Brochere are set to star in the series, as the people linked by the common dream. Each of them is on a quest — one is searching for his missing girlfriend, one is searching for a lost child, one is looking to cure his catatonic mother — and it is the clues found in their collective dream that come to guide them. Eventually, they realize that much more than their personal fates are at stake.

The pilot was written and co-created by Masters and Bromell and is from Universal Cable Productions (UCP). Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directed the pilot and will also executive produce the series. Gale Anne Hurd and Blake Masters serve as executive producers.

Hurd, who is also a producer on “The Walking Dead,” said “Falling Water” pairs well with the overall programming strategy of USA, home of the hacker thriller “Mr. Robot.” “Falling Water,” she said, isn’t a science-fiction series, strictly speaking.

“It takes place in the fantasy world, the dream world,” Hurd told reporters. “It’s not like we’re saying it’s a different world, where aliens exist or zombies exist.”

“I understand the power that dreams have,” she added. “We can change ourselves and potentially we can change the world by harnessing the power of our dreams.”