Despite what you may think about how it ended its four-season run, the best part of Heroes was watching as a diverse cast of characters scattered across the globe — mostly played by then-unknown actors — all came to grips with their incredible powers. From Peter's dreams of flying to Hiro teleporting into Times Square, there was an adrenaline rush in observing these ordinary people become extraordinary. It remains to be seen if NBC's limited series sequel will capture that same magic and sense of discovery; but the Heroes Reborn cast, once again filled with mostly unfamiliar faces, promises a fresh start to anyone jaded by the less-than-stellar way the original series ended.
Among the cast of Reborn's main players, you'll find everything from humans to "evos" (the sequel's newly-coined slang for those with superpowers), from fresh-faced pre-teens to jaded adults, from killers to conspiracy theorists, from familiar and comforting faces to new and terrifying ones. And while many Heroes fans will undoubtedly be counting the minutes until some of their old favorites return, with promises of cameos from the likes of Masi Oka as Hiro and Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman dangling like carrots, only one of the 10 main characters is a returning member of the original series.
Meet your new generation of Heroes:
Jack Coleman — Noah Bennet
The sole holdover from Heroes Original Flavor, Coleman is back as Noah Bennet, aka HRG, aka the Man with the Horn-Rimmed Glasses. In the five years since the show ended, the actor has been biding his time, dutifully making the rounds on all of your favorite TV shows, alternating one-off guest appearances on the likes of The Mentalist, House, and Chicago P.D. with longer recurring arcs on shows like The Vampire Diaries, Burn Notice, Scandal, and Castle. His largest role since Heroes was as Angela's husband State Senator Rob Lipton on 14 episodes of The Office.
Zachary Levi — Luke Collins
Levi is certainly the most famous addition to the Heroes roster, hot off the leading role of NBC's spy action-comedy Chuck, which ended in 2012. Since then, the actor has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Asgardian warrior Fandral in Thor: The Dark World, replacing Joshua Dallas from the first film, due to Dallas's commitment to ABC's Once Upon A Time. If his voice sounds super familiar to you, that's probably because Levi is also the man behind the dulcet tones of Flynn Rider from Disney's animated Rapunzel musical Tangled.
Judi Shekoni — Joanne Collins
This British model's feature film debut was an uncredited appearance as "Girl in Casino" in the 1999 James Bond flick The World Is Not Enough. She has appeared in small movie and TV roles in both England and the United States, including episodes of NCIS, Brothers & Sisters, and Backstrom. In 2008, Shekoni was the host of a FOX reality show called When Women Rule The World , which put a group of strangers in a primitive location in a society where the men were subservient to the women, who got to vote off one man per week. Sadly, the show was delayed several times and ultimately was never broadcast in the U.S. — despite airing across the pond in Belgium and Finland. Shekoni's most high-profile role to date was as Zafrina, the leader of the Amazonian vampire coven in Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2.
Ryan Guzman — Carlos Gutierrez
28-year-old Guzman is perhaps most notorious as the world's oldest teenager, having played the high school student who seduces Jennifer Lopez in this year's "erotic thriller" The Boy Next Door . Before that, Guzman made a splash as the star of the fourth and fifth films in the high-adrenaline Step Up dance franchise, 2012's Revolution, and 2014's All In. He cemented his status as the object of teen girls' crushes with a recurring role on Pretty Little Liars, playing martial arts instructor Jake on Season 4 of the ABC Family series. He'll next appear in the teen musical drama Jem And The Holograms, out in October, as the object of the titular songstress' affections.
Robbie Kay — Tommy Clarke
Reborn's high schooler is being played by 20-year-old Kay — although at least he looks like a teenager. One of the actor's first roles was as the eponymous puppet in 2008 British TV movie Pinocchio, starring the late great Bob Hoskins as Geppetto and Game Of Thrones' Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Lucignolo. Five years later, Kay landed a recurring role as a villainous Peter Pan on ABC's Once Upon A Time. He also rubbed shoulders with Johnny Depp in Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, playing "Cabin Boy."
Kiki Sukezane — Miko Otomo
This young Japanese actress is making her Hollywood debut with Reborn. She originally came to the United States as part of a foreign exchange program, attending part of high school in South Dakota, according to AsAm News. She returned to Japan to begin her acting career, before eventually moving to Los Angeles and landing the role of Miko. Her casting on Reborn is serendipitous, as she told AsAm News she became a fan of the original Heroes while watching the series in high school.
Danika Yarosh — Malina
Yarosh may only be about to turn 17 next month, but she's already got a resumé to brag about. Her first credit dates all the way back to 2004, when she was only five or six years old. She has appeared in episodes of 30 Rock, 1600 Penn, and Law & Order: SVU (in three episodes playing two characters over a span of five years). Her most prominent role so far has been a recurring part on Showtime's Shameless as Debbie's friend Holly Herkimer. And it seems like Yarosh's career is only just starting to take off: Variety reported just last week that her next project after Reborn will be the sequel to Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher , playing the action superstar's daughter.
Henry Zebrowski — Quentin Frady
This funnyman is joining the cast after transitioning from standup comedy to sketch shows (like Inside Amy Schumer and CollegeHumor Originals) to scripted fare (like Blue Bloods, Girls, and a role in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf Of Wall Street). Reborn will be his second series regular role on television, and his first outside comedy — Zebrowski was previously seen last season on NBC's short-lived but underrated sitcom A To Z as the main character's friend and coworker, Stu.
Rya Kihlstedt — Erica Kravid
Kihltsedt made her start on the big screen, playing one of the home-invading crooks in 1997's Home Alone 3, as well as a supporting role in the following year's not-Armageddon asteroid movie, Deep Impact. Since then, she has been known more for her work on the small screen: in 2011, she had a recurring role on Season 6 of Dexter as Dr. Michelle Ross, the therapist assigned to Debra after she's involved in a shooting; she also had a recurring role on Season 1 of Nashville as Marilyn Rhodes, Avery's former manager and lover; and, most recently, she appeared in a small arc on Season 2 of Masters Of Sex as Tatti Greathouse, the host of the Women's Auxiliary Brunch that Libby attends.
Gatlin Green — Emily Duval
This young budding star grew up in Nashville, where she was homeschooled and began recording music with her brother, Cooper, according to Zap2It. Her first major project was a starring role in the interactive musical YouTube movie Finding Cody , which allowed viewers to choose their own ending as Green navigated her way to see Australian pop star Cody Simpson in concert. Prior to Reborn, her television credits consist of a guest appearance on Criminal Minds and a two-episode arc on Disney's Liv And Maddie.
It remains to be seen if any of these unknown actors can break out to become the next Hayden Panettiere, but in the meantime, you can seem them in action when Heroes Reborn premieres on NBC this Thursday at 8 p.m.
Images: Jeff Riedel/NBC (11)