Lost has added another bad guy to the island mix. Or, actually, he could be a good guy. Really, the odds are 50-50 either way.
Rodrigo Santoro, the South American import dubbed by press as the "Brazilian Tom Cruise"--a reference to his heartthrob status only and not to any off-screen antics--is joining the cast of the Emmy-snubbed drama next season.
It's unknown whether Santoro, who acted as theatrical eye candy opposite Laura Linney in Love, Actually and Demi Moore in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, will be a regular addition to the cast or simply a recurring character, though neither would be a guarantee of his character's longevity.
Show producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof remained characteristically mum on the details of the 30-year-old actor's role, confirming the casting to TVGuide.com, but refusing to divulge whether Santoro's alter ego will be an Other, part of a character's flashback or a member of the off-island world.
"We don't really want to be at all specific about what we're doing with the character or what he's going to play," Cuse told TVGuide.com. "Part of the surprise and the enjoyment of watching the show is sort of getting a chance to meet a new character and see how his role is going to unfold in relation to the rest of the cast."
Still, says Cuse, Santoro, who is so critically lauded in his native country that "Brazilian Tom Hanks" may be a more accurate nickname, will play against the expectation of his character, at least in terms of his pinup-worthy looks.
"The ladies like it when he takes his shirt off--not to say he'll be competing with Sawyer in that category," Lindelof told the Website. "On Lost, what you see is never what you get."
Despite his more than established career abroad, Lindelof said Santoro's relative anonymity Stateside made him an ideal match for the show.
While the producers clammed up about the show's new character, they did shed some light on what's coming up for some of the old ones.
The writer-producers spoke about the upcoming third season at San Diego's Comic-Con Saturday.
Cuse said the run-up to the season's first hiatus--the show takes a 13-week break after the airing of its first six episodes--"will look a little like a miniseries." Lindelof added, "Something happens midway through the year that will fry everybody's brain."
The Lost masterminds also said that they'll be amping up the adventure elements of the show this season and will revisit the off-island world they tapped into with the season finale.
"We're laying the seeds for a whole new element," Cuse said.
As for the characters themselves, Desmond, played by lone Lost Emmy nominee Henry Ian Cusick, will return. Lindelof also promises that the two-seasons-strong love triangle among Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Jack (Matthew Fox) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) will have a resolution.
"Within the first six episodes, she'll be officially making her selection," he said.
Meanwhile, fans of Hurley (Jorge Garcia) will be happy to know that the lovelorn island dweller will be getting some extra face time, albeit on the very small screen.
Producers will be rolling out 13 two-minute mobisodes--i.e., mobile phone episodes--through Verizon this fall titled The Lost Diaries. The series will focus on Hurley as he finds a video camera--that Dharma Initiative really did think of everything--and chronicles different events on the island.
"It has been hard to get it off the ground because we don't want them to be...lame," Lindelof said.
It's proving to be a banner week for Lost fans. As if details of the new season spilling out weren't enough, one of the show's most-hyped mysteries will soon be solved.
The Lost Experience, the online interactive game launched last spring to give fans clues to the island, will spill the meaning behind Hurley's lottery numbers--4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42--which are prevalent throughout the show. Their importance will be revealed to gamers who complete the third phase of the challenge.
The show's third-season premiere, "A Tale of Two Cities," airs Oct. 4.