Hunters Star Logan Lerman & Series Creator David Weil on the Resurrection of Al Pacino for Season 2

The final season features higher emotional stakes and darker cinematic influences, Jonah has grown up, and more things to know about Prime Video's Nazi-hunting revenge thriller.

by | January 12, 2023 | Comments

TAGGED AS: , , , ,

Hunters, the revenge thriller starring Logan Lerman and Al Pacino, is finally returning with its second and final season to Prime Video on Friday, January 13. It’s been a three-year wait for the new episodes to hit, so a refresher might be in order: The grindhouse-style series, which hails from creator David Weil, and producers Jordan Peele and Nikki Toscano, takes place in the 1970s and follows a team of Jewish renegades bent on circumventing the law to bring variety of World War II Nazis to justice.

Season 1 introduced audiences to Meyer Offerman (Pacino), a Holocaust survivor and philanthropist who led an underground crew of Jewish vigilantes — math genius and comic book nerd Jonah Heidelbaum (Lerman); actor and master of disguises Lonny Flash (Josh Radnor); forgery expert Roxy Jones (Tiffany Boone); former MI6 operative Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvany); signals expert Mindy Markowitz (Carol Kane); her husband and electronics expert Murray (Saul Rubinek); and combat expert Joe Mizushima (Louis Ozawa) — who together put his plan of thwarting the rise of a Fourth Reich into action.

Weil has said that the inspiration behind Hunters was his grandmother, a Holocaust survivor. In season 2, it was even more urgent for Weil “to bring awareness and education to the Holocaust, to center Jewish characters with strength and power, and give them agency in a way that we don’t often see in cinema, all in an attempt to fight back against the scourge of anti-semitism.”

Hunters s2 key art

(Photo by Prime Video)

The final moments of the first season’s cliffhanger finale revealed that Adolf Hitler was alive and well, hiding out in South America, a bombshell that prompts Jonah to get the band back together. With the help of FBI agent Millie (Jerrika Hinton) and series newcomer Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays Nazi-hunter Chava in season 2, Meyer’s mission of eradicating these World War II criminals is positioned to deliver the goods once the new episodes premiere.

Ahead of its highly-anticipated return to television, Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Lerman and series creator David Weil to get the lowdown on what fans should expect from the new season. Here are six things you should know about Hunters season 2.

1. Jonah has grown a lot since season 1

(Photo by Prime Video)

“A lot of years have passed, things have happened, and he’s kind of been shaped by the traumas of everything in between,” Lerman said, teasing Jonah’s state of mind in the new episodes. “On top of that, he’s leading a double life.”

A double life, you say? It turns out that Jonah has continued Meyer’s mission, but all by himself. And the cover he has created for himself seems picture perfect for anyone on the outside looking in. That includes his unknowing girlfriend, as well.

“He’s lying to himself and lying to his partner,” Lerman added. “It’s a more complex version of the same character.”

For those that have been paying attention, you’ll recall that Jonah was a huge comic book nerd when we first met him in season 1.

“He’s a comic book nerd at heart,” Lerman continued. “But we don’t see that side of him here.”

2. Al Pacino returns after that big season 1 twist

(Photo by Prime Video)

Hunters dropped a big bombshell toward the end of season 1, revealing Meyer Offerman as a secret Nazi. Upon learning this detail, Jonah shot him dead. It was a game-changing moment that shifted the trajectory of the story the show continues to tell.

Offerman may be dead, but as Weil explained, there is more of Meyer’s story that needs telling. Pacino returns in the new episodes, and this time the series will use flashbacks to explore more of this complex character and the motivations that led him down this path.

“After the end of season 1, Al and I had many a conversation about, Is there a possibility to bring this character back? And, How would we do it?” Weil continued. “It really came from conversations between Al and myself, and an appetite for what a fascinating and deeply complex character, obviously, Meyer Offerman is. The opportunity to write for him became a thrill, and really, a dark, harrowing, and also illuminating voyage right into this very complex individual soul and mind in history.”

3. 1970s paranoia and heist films were a big influence

(Photo by Prime Video)

Because Jonah was introduced as a comic book fan in the first season, the show mirrored that storytelling style to fully explore this revenge tale as experienced through his eyes. There’s less “comic book pulp and pop,” this season, Weil said. Instead, these new episodes draw inspiration from the paranoia thrillers and heist films from the 1970s.

“Jonah is sort of evolving as a character and maturing as a character, so too, did we want the tone to adapt and evolve with him,” Weil continued. “We’re seeing Jonah in a very different light this season; there’s more of a darkness about him that we’re certainly exploring. And so, I think you’ll feel that. I think, texturally, with the color story of the show, there is a bit of that. But there’s also a great thrill ride.”

4. A huge payoff and satisfying catharsis are in the cards

(Photo by Prime Video)

The season 1 finale, in its final scene, revealed an elderly, but very much alive, Adolf Hitler. It was a quick reveal, but planted the narrative seed for season 2. Instead of taking out a variety of the Third Reich’s henchmen, now the Hunters have their own version of a white whale. Invoking Hitler, as Weil admitted, “offered a sense of catharsis, completion, and resolution, even though it’s fictionalized.”

He continued: “Season 2 really became that hunt; it became the hunt for the biggest bad in modern history, and became an attempt in an alternate history, in a wish fulfillment kind of way, to exact vengeance and justice against this individual, specifically at the hands of the very people that he sought to exterminate.”

It’s a baffling thing to learn, for sure. And it’s the catalyst that gives Jonah new purpose, and the drive to step up as the new leader of the gang in Meyer’s vacancy.

“If not him, then who? Lerman added. “He’s been changed by the events in season 1 and there’s almost no going back. Like, he has to do it. He has the resources, the knowledge of what’s going on, and he can’t just let it slide. He feels the responsibility, the weight of it, and knows that he can handle it, and that he will handle it.”

5. Scaling down from five seasons to two was the right move

(Photo by Prime Video)

When Hunters first premiered to Prime Video in 2020, Weil said he had a five- or six-season plan for the series. Three years later and the game has changed. Things scaled back immensely and the show’s upcoming second season is now being billed as its last.

When asked if the pandemic caused this production change, Weil said: “It did in the sense of it just gave me more time to write.”

So, why did he largely cut the length of the series? Basically, it’s because of Hitler.

“In invoking Hitler at the end of season 1, it felt very important, I think, to conclude that story in season 2 and not really draw out Hitler over many seasons,” Weil continued. “So, in the writing of season 2, what became really clear — and I think you’ll feel this — it felt like a really natural conclusion to the story.”

6. At the end of the day, the show is big, bold, and fun

(Photo by Prime Video)

The comic book nature of the storytelling may be gone from the new season, but Lerman wants viewers to remember that, aside from “the heaviness” of the show’s subject matter, that Hunters is “truly entertainment, and it’s meant to be a fun action show.”

“It’s big, and bold, and even silly at times,” he added. “It doesn’t take itself seriously … until it has to address something that’s a little bit more poignant, which is surprising at times. But at its core, this is a fun action show. And if people feel something from it — if they feel emotional, if they laugh, whatever, I just want them to feel it and have an experience that entertains them. That’s all I want.”

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.