Pretty Little Liars Showrunner I. Marlene King on That Wild Series Finale and Who Was Almost A.D.
Pretty Little Liars went out with a bang on Tuesday, revealing a whole host of bombshells, including that A.D. is none other than Spencer’s evil twin, Alex Drake. We caught up with showrunner I. Marlene King to chat about the finale, what happened to Addison, and talk of more Pretty Little Liars projects.
B+C: What a crazy finale. At what point did you decide that uber A was going to be Alex, and did you ever consider having it be a different Liar whose twin was A.D.?
Marlene King: I really started thinking about it between seasons five and six, but it was always Spencer. The families were so intertwined, the Hastings and the DiLaurentises, and we knew that Peter had slept with Jessica and we loved this idea that Mary, to get back at her sister, would sleep with Peter, and that’s sort of what started the whole conversation.
B+C: Was there ever anybody else who was a serious contender to be uber A?
MK: Yes. We talked about Melissa, we talked about Wren, both having some interesting motivation, some possible backstory, but neither of those characters were series regulars, so we wanted to make sure the person who was going to be A.D. was going to be available to us in our last season, so we had to make it a series regular.
B+C: We love that it turns out Wren has been involved this whole time. Was that always part of the evil twin storyline? Or did that come into play when you realized you could get Julian Morris back?
MK: I remember having breakfast with Julian two years ago and telling him about the story and he was like, “No matter what I’m doing, I’ll find a way to come back.”
B+C: Turning to those final scenes, Mona really got the last laugh. Just to clarify, was that “cop” who burst in actually Mona’s French boyfriend? Mary and Alex were never taken into custody?
MK: Yes, yes, it was. If you pay attention, he has the slightest of French dialects … that went right over some people, so I’m glad that you picked up on that.
B+C: How long can Mona keep them in her dollhouse? Is there any talk of a Pretty Little Liars project that revisits Mona, Alex, and Mary?
MK: I think for right now there’s no talk about it, but you never know. You never know.
B+C: Speaking of another PLL project, why did you choose to end the series finale with the Addison sleepover? Are there talks of that becoming a spinoff or a PLL 2.0?
MK: We haven’t really talked about it. It’s sort of floating out there as a fun idea, but right now there are no talks about it. I really wanted to say that the mythology of this town stays alive even though our PLLs give us closure. I just love the idea that it’s still Rosewood, Pennsylvania: Ghost Town.
B+C: Whether there is a continuation or not, do you already know in your head what happened to Addison?
MK: Yes, I think I do, actually. We wanted to include Maya St. Germain’s niece in there and that’s sort of what started the Addison storyline — bringing in this new generation of a mean girl and her cronies.
B+C: Was there anybody that you wanted to get back for this final season that you just couldn’t make work?
MK: Yes. We really wanted Cody [Christian] back, who plays Mike, for the wedding … and we really wanted to get Jason (Drew Van Acker) back, but both are series regulars on other shows, so we just couldn’t make it work.
B+C: Should we assume that Toby and Spencer have lived happily ever after too?
MK: Yes, absolutely.
B+C: Has there been any talk of any kind of continuation for these characters or has the book closed on Alison and the four Liars?
MK: There’s been some talk, I’m sort of talking about some things with the network, but nothing is written in stone yet.
(photos via Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images and Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)