‘Lucifer’ Season 3: Joe Henderson, Ildy Modrovich on the Wings, Tom Welling, and Stand-Alone Episodes

Lucifer Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich
Executive Producers Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson during the ‘Lucifer’ panel at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con (Photo by Scott Kirkland © 2017 Fox Broadcasting)

When we last saw Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), he was alone in the desert and had grown a gorgeous set of wings. Fox’s Lucifer season three premieres on October 2, 2017 at 8pm ET/PT and during the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, executive producers Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich explained where fans will pick up the action. They also discussed planning out season three, inserting the four stand-alone episodes, and introducing Tom Welling as a police lieutenant who develops an interest in Chloe.

Did holding over four episodes from season two change the writing process for season three?

Ildy Modrovich: “It was banana pants!”

Joe Henderson: (Laughing) “Well, the funny thing is it didn’t actually change the story at all. We had broken an 18-episode arc. What it did was put us in the position of, ‘Okay, we have four more episodes.’ We sort of saw it as, ‘This is a bonus.’ We’re like, ‘Listen, we’re going to go crazy with these episodes. We’re going to go stand-alone but we’re going to introduce a new story; we’re going to change our characters a bit in it. We’re going to play with format and a whole bunch of stuff.’

And, they’re awesome. The ‘stand-alone’ thing is almost deceptive. They start stories for a number of our characters. My hope is when people watch them, they ask, ‘Was that a stand-alone?’”

Ildy Modrovich: “They won’t be glaring. And also, since we could put them wherever we wanted in this season, we put them in and then had a repercussion in the next (episode). There’s a reaction to what happened in that episode in the next episode, so they don’t feel totally stand-alone.”

Joe Henderson: “Our first two episodes pick up directly from (the season two finale), and then our third episode is our first stand-alone. And then we have a couple others, and then you’ll never know. You’ll find out.”

And season three introduces a new cast member – Tom Welling.

Ildy Modrovich: “Like we didn’t have enough candy…eye candy! We just were like, ‘You know what? We really need somebody beautiful on this show.’”

Joe Henderson: “[…] We are so excited to have Tom. He is awesome.”

Ildy Modrovich: “And so sweet. When we were talking about casting him, we were like, ‘Do you think he’ll do it?’ And then literally people came out of the woodwork to tell us how lovely he is and just what a kind, humble, hard-worker, professional…and none of it’s true.” (Laughing) It’s all so true. He’s the nicest guy. I’m so happy.”

Joe Henderson: “And what’s fun is we’re going to play him against type. I think what drew him to the role is this isn’t his role on Smallville. This is very different. This is a chance for him to show off. I’m a huge Smallville fan, I know the range he has. This is a chance for him to show that off. We’re excited about it.”

Ildy Modrovich: “It’s got an edge.”

How is his relationship going to be with Lucifer? Is it adversarial?

Ildy: “It will have many movements.”

Joe Henderson: “…of the bowel nature. (Laughing) Had to go there!”

And how often will the shirts be written out of those scenes?

Joe Henderson: “Why would we even write them in?”

Ildy Modrovich: “As often as possible! We already have that written into the script. Trust me.”

Joe Henderson: “Lt. Marcus Pierce is the new big man on campus, to a certain extent. Our cast – the characters in the precinct get along well. They have their conflicts, obviously, but this is a tightly knit team. It’s almost like family. He’s going to come in and mix it up.”

Ildy Modrovich: “And they’ll have different levels. At first it will be he’s this tough detective. And then as he starts to kind of have his eye on Miss Decker, that’s not going to sit well. That’s not going to sit well with Lucifer.”

How is it going to change the team dynamic given that at the end of season two it looked like Lucifer has gone missing for a while?

Ildy Modrovich: “He hasn’t been gone as long as perhaps you might think. So, even though his wings are back, how long did it take to grow them? A very short time.”

Joe Henderson: “And what does that say?”

Do we get some explanation or are we left hanging for a while?

Ildy Modrovich: “I can say this, that the premiere episode is him trying to solve that mystery. ‘Who took me?’ He knows dad is behind this for sure. Who is his emissary? He doesn’t like to get his hands dirty.”

Joe Henderson: “He doesn’t like to whack guys in the back of the head by himself. So, who’s his emissary? ‘I’m going to find that man/woman/demon/angel/whatever and figure out what my dad’s up to and send him a message back.’ That’s episode one.”

And there will be a pure musical episode?

Ildy Modrovich: (Laughing) “I want that so badly from the bottom of my soul.”

Joe Henderson: “We’ll get there.”

Ildy Modrovich: “We’ll get there. I’m not sure if it’s this season, but we’ll get there.”

We’ve been told there’s some Sinatra and Vegas showgirls coming.

Ildy Modrovich: “That is coming. That episode will air before Christmas – I won’t say exactly when. Yeah, there’s a case in Las Vegas that they have to go solve and it becomes part of a sting operation to basically call the bad guy out by doing this big Vegas number. Ella gets to dance as the showgirl and of course Lucifer is the man on the mic. And, it’s truly my favorite moment of television. I cried when I saw the rehearsal. I cried. Ask Tom and Aimee (Garcia), I was crying.”

Joe Henderson: “Let’s see…who did he meet in Vegas last time he was in Vegas?”

Ildy Modrovich: “So going back is an interesting thing.”

What do you have in mind for this season as far as arcs go?

Joe Henderson: “We’ve been structuring it in three acts right now. We’re building toward our 10-episode arc of the fall, and then two other acts. We’ve got our waypoints. One of the things we like to do is we have the point where this is where we’re headed to but we are ready for a swerve if all of a sudden you come up with a better idea or all of a sudden you start to see something happening on screen and you’re like, ‘Whoa, that’s good! We should play with that.’

So, it’s a three-act play to a certain extent. But the fun of it is, it’s jazz. You want to be able to go, ‘Oh, this is really working!’ Or, Ildy comes in and she’s like, ‘What about this?’ ‘Well, that blows everything up.’ ‘That’s awesome!’”

Ildy Modrovich: “Joe’s just like, ‘No.’ I go, ‘Here’s an idea.’ ‘No.’ He’s always going to say no.”

How will Dr. Linda feel safe again?

Ildy Modrovich: “That’s a good question. She does. We actually worked just on an episode where she has to really face what happened to her. The strange part about it is she’s a therapist who helps other people through grieving and things like that – PTSD and traumatic experiences. She thinks she knows how to do it for herself but what she’s missing is someone to help her through it. She’s missing the ‘her’ in the equation. And so, she finds someone who helps her through it.”

Joe Henderson: “It’s me.”

More on Lucifer Season 3:
Tom Ellis Interview
Kevin Alejandro Interview
Rachael Harris Interview

Watch the full Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich Lucifer interview: