The Girl in the Woods is a frightening supernatural drama brought to life with the help of Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter. Although Ritter isn't seen in front of the camera, her fingerprints are all over the show as an executive producer and the director of the first four episodes. The Peacock show is brimming with "imagination and creativeness," which attracted Ritter to the cult-inspired series, she told PopCulture.com.
The series stars Stefanie Scott (Insidious: Chapter 3) as Carrie, a runaway from an Oregon cult that is guarding a door that keeps monsters from invading the rest of the world. Showrunner Jane Casey Modderno mixes this mysterious science fiction story with the everyday concerns of teenagers after Carrie becomes friends with Nolan (Misha Oschervich, Freaky) and Tasha (Sofia Bryant, I Am Not Okay With This). Carrie's new friends attempt to help her, but she is already being chased by Arthur Dean (Will Yun Lee), who makes sure the cult's secrets are never revealed to the outside.
When viewers start watching the show, it immediately becomes clear that Modderno and the other writers have already created a detailed mythology, which is what attracted Ritter to the project. When she joined, Modderno showed Ritter a show bible that was "so thought out and so genius," Ritter said. "She really built out this mythology that any question you had there would be an answer for," Ritter explained. "So I really did love the mythology and the imagination and creativeness that went into creating it. I thought they just did such great work on that."
Although the mythology was already built when Ritter came on, she was still integral to the development of the show's look. "That's the cool part about getting to direct and originate a pilot is, getting to make all of these big creative decisions and make big swings," she said. "We wanted it to be monochrome and have a really distinct feel that would feel very different from the modern world." The team put in "a lot of thought" to make the real world and the cult environment Carrie grew up in as different as possible.
Since Ritter has plenty of experience acting herself, she worked with Scott, Oschervich, and Bryant extensively to create characters that aren't a complete departure from who they are in real life. For example, Oscervish and Bryant are "so cool" already that Ritter didn't want to lose that. "I just wanted them to feel confident in their own skin. I know when I'm acting, you don't want to feel like you show up and people do things to you," Ritter said. "You want to be a part of the creative process, so I wanted to make sure that they felt empowered and they felt ownership of their characters and they clearly were co-collaborators in creating them."
The Girl in the Woods debuts on Peacock Thursday, Oct. 21, with all eight episodes released at once. That alone will definitely leave viewers wanting more, and Ritter most certainly wants to be a part of it. "I hope we get a second season. We'll kind of see what happens," she said. "I think that [the] content is here to continue on and I love the show. I'll stay on as a producer, for sure, and we'll see kind of what happens with scheduling."