With Space Force Season 2 streaming on Netflix starting February 18, I’m happy to share the exclusive first trailer for the upcoming seven-episode season. Co-created by Greg Daniels and Steve Carell (who had some success working together on The Office), Space Force is about general Mark R. Naird (Carell) and his underdog team at the newest branch of the military. In Season 2, the group has to prove their worth to a new administration, while dealing with a number of interpersonal challenges. The show also stars John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Tawny Newsome, Diana Silvers, Jimmy O. Yang, Don Lake, Lisa Kudrow, and Tim Meadows.
While I enjoyed the first season, the second season is a lot stronger (and funnier), and that’s due to a number of behind-the-scenes changes that Daniels told me about in an exclusive interview. He explained how the first season’s cinematic style was something they felt didn’t work and why they changed it:
“Steve (Carell) and I were very much in the mind of not making it like The Office in the beginning, we were trying to make it very cinematic. And what happened when we stopped the first season was, we sat down and he was like, “Well, that wasn’t that much fun to make it that cinematic,” because when you’re shooting something like a movie, especially when you’re really caring about the look of it, there’s a lot of downtime while they’re lighting.
The thing that Steve is so brilliant at and was used to from The Office is the ability to kind of improvise with the other actors. Afterwards, we looked at what we had to work with, and we were like, “Well, the cast is amazing. The cast that we’ve assembled for Space Force, it’s a shame to make them just shoot one side and then wait and relight,” as opposed to like having a more flexible shooting pattern where they can play off each other and have fun with it and improvise.”
To achieve this goal, Daniels and Carell brought in Norm Hiscock (Parks and Recreation, King of the Hill) as a co-showrunner alongside Daniels, and co-star Yang joined the writers’ room as a staff writer. But that’s not all they did. The biggest change was bringing in Ken Kwapis to direct all of Season 2. Daniels explains why.
“The other big creative change we did was we brought in the guy who directed the pilot of The Office and a lot of our biggest episodes, this guy Ken Kwapis, and he’s so much about protecting the performance energy on the set for the cast so that they can relax and not worry about the mechanics of shooting it. He’s also super good at shooting comedy, which is somewhat different than the sort of like Kubrick-y kind of thing we were going for season one, right? We saw what was working and we tried to fix it.”
Check out the exclusive first trailer for Space Force Season 2 below, and you’ll be able to get a taste of what Daniels was talking about with the new focus on the comedy and the cast having fun. Space Force Season 2 is executive produced by Daniels, Carell, Kwapis, Howard Klein, Norm Hiscock, and Brent Forrester. Season 2 was written by Carell, Kim Tran, O. Yang, Lauren Houseman, Forrester, Hiscock, and Mamoudou N’diaye.