To celebrate the Big Three’s birthdays, NBC gave This Is Us fans a sneak look into the upcoming fourth season of the acclaimed family drama, which will return for an extended premiere September 24. Creator Dan Fogelman has previously teased that this season will see “a lot” of new characters with important connections to the Pearson family, and the trailer — though it’s just over a minute long — tells us a bit about who some of them are.
The clip opens with a glimpse of ’70s-era Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) from season 3. “It’s so strange, isn’t it?” Rebecca asks. “How just like that, a complete stranger can become such a big part of your story?” It’s a sentiment that’s sure to ring true, if the sheer number of new cast members that then flash on-screen are any indication.
The trailer promises the return of recurring cast members such as Nicky (Griffin Dunne) and Beth’s mother (Phylicia Rashad). And joining the cast this season will be Once Upon A Time actress Jennifer Morrison, When They See Us actors Marsha Stephanie Blake and Asante Blackk, Omar Epps, and Auden Thornton. We now know that Thornton will be playing an actress, and that Morrison’s character is in the military; some have speculated that the latter might be the mysterious mother of Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) baby. It looks like Blackk might have a pretty big role: the camera focuses on him, staring off into the distance, for several beats.
Also joining the newcomers this season will be Bahara Golestani, seen in the trailer interacting with what looks like a uniformed Morrison; Julian Silva, shown lurking behind Blackk; and, in perhaps one of the most surprising cameos, M. Night Shyamalan, who might be playing himself. After all, we know he works in the same industry as Kevin.
We’ll just have to wait until September to see how these new faces fit in. After all, we can make predictions all we want, but — as the trailer points out — “if you think you know what’s coming next, you don’t know us.”