‘Chicago Fire’ Boss Talks Who Survived, Cruz & Boden’s ‘Desperation’ & New Shake-Ups

Co-creator and executive producer Derek Haas spoke with HollywoodLife.com exclusively about that huge cliffhanger on ‘Chicago Fire,’ what to expect, and yes, Mr. Sprinkles.

“I think I’ve built Mr. Sprinkles up way too much and now it’s going to be a gigantic disappointment,” Derek Haas told us in a new interview, laughing over the hype the new character he’s created. Derek, who developed the first of the Chicago franchise with Michael Brandt, has been teasing “Mr. Sprinkles” on social media for months now, and fans can’t wait.

Another thing fans can’t wait for? To see who survives that epic Chicago Fire finale. Casey, Severide, Mouch, Herrmann, Otis and Kidd were all stuck inside the burning building at the end of last season, but we can confirm that one of your favorites will definitely be back: Severide. Read the full interview below:

Obviously the finale left a lot of questions; how long will fans have to wait to find out the answers?
Within the first five minutes. It’s going to pick up literally from where Gabby was looking at that front doorway that was all a flame. The teaser is going to extend that scene, and you’re going to see the desperation of Boden and Cruz. Then the events will play out, and we’ll do at time jump to a couple months later.

So will we have flashbacks to see some characters who aren’t there?
We will mess with time but we did the flashbacks in season, showing Shay’s first day. So we’re not going to repeat that but you might see some different things. I don’t want to spoil anything! I’m the kind of guy who opens presents on Christmas morning. I don’t read the last chapter of the book! I love it when it’s a surprise.

Well we’ve seen Mouch, Herrman, etc. on set in social media photos. Do you talk to your team about what they’re posting on social media?
I encourage it. The more you can connect the better. We definitely use it to our advantage. I will say, we’ll put things in the background of pictures that were intentionally trying to fool the audience about what’s going to happen.

Can you confirm that not everyone survives?
What I can say is not everyone is back this season but I can’t tell you why not everyone’s back. That will be revealed in the first episode.

Romance is heavy in the show, and while Casey and Gabby finally tied the knot, Severide’s had some bad luck in love.
Well, I think it’s fair to say he’s going to make it out of there. We’re going to see a few different things with his character — he’ll have a new roommate this year from the cast!  As for romance, he’s a little bit back to the bad boy Severide after the events of last season. As Bret says, if you want to be the shoulder for him to cry on, he’s already been comforted by half of the women in Chicago.

What can you say about how Eloise Mumford’s arrival will affect the firehouse?
She plays Hope, and is a great character. She’s a friend of Brett’s from a small town. She sees what Bret has achieved not just work wise but friendship wise, and thinks, ‘That’s something I would like for myself.’ But she doesn’t have the personality or character to work for those things, she just wants to manipulate events to get those things. She’s going to be an irritant for the first half of the season, coming in and stirring things up. She’s a disrupter!

After six weeks, you’re on hiatus for football. Are you planning a big cliffhanger?
I’m writing the first episode myself and then writing that sixth episode. Usually it’s eight or 10, so last year we had the big wedding, and Louie’s dad showed up at the end. And people were all mad at me. I don’t expect this episode ending to be any different!

Can you say anything about Mr. Sprinkles?
You’ll meet Mr. Sprinkles in the fourth episode and then just when you think the storyline is over, Mr. Sprinkles will make another appearance. The name came about in the writers’ room. Sometimes someone will throw something out and everyone starts laughing and it sticks. I think I’ve built Mr. Sprinkles up way too much, and now it’s going to be a gigantic disappointment.

There’s been a lot of death on this show. Which sticks with you?
By far, Shay dying. Writing 301. I wrote the finale with Brant of season tw0 and wrote the first one back season three, and Lauren [German] and I are still great friends. It was just really sad because we knew it was going to happen over the summer because it was a long goodbye in a lot of ways. She’s so funny. On set, she was wearing angel wings, walking around talking about Chicago heaven where she can hang out with some of the other characters we’ve killed off. Just watching that episode for the first time, I’m not afraid to say I tear up sometimes. That one got me!

We saw her quickly last season — let’s bring her back!
I would love it. I would take her anytime. She’s on Lucifer, which is of course a full time job so it’s not easy but I would love to have her come back. He had that DVD he played of her so it’d be great to have her back in a scene,  something you never saw kind of thing. She’s so funny and talented. Basically, Anna, Shay and Hallie from season one are watching.

Chicago Fire returns to NBC on September 28 at 10 PM ET.