During the first season of Sleepy Hollow, executive story editor Heather V. Regnier helped usher time-traveler Ichabod Crane through plotlines involving all sort of beings and beyond-this-realm situations:
Angels. Demons. Monsters. Biblical prophecies. And, of course, there's that legendary Headless Horseman, who is revealed to be one of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse.
As the Fox hit heads toward season 2, Regnier is now a producer. She says this modern-day spin on two Washington Irving classic short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” spans “a thousand hyphens” genre-wise, including “supernatural-historical-religious-monster-fantasy-cop — and there’s romance thrown in, for good measure.”
Recently named to Forbes’s “30 Under 30” in Hollywood list, Regnier is already a veteran of the otherworldly.
Previously a staff writer and story editor for TNT’s Falling Skies, she was also on staff at Fox’s Human Target, for which she cowrote her first produced script.
When she’s not invoking the End of Days, Regnier moonlights as a comedian, performing with the all-female sketch team The Get Go at Hollywood’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
The daughter of a USC architecture professor and a psychologist, Regnier grew up in Los Angeles, then majored in screenwriting (with a neuroscience minor) at USC.
Upon graduating in 2008, she picked up a picket sign: the writers’ strike was under way.
While picketing at Warner Bros., she met Melissa Rosenberg, then a coexecutive producer of Dexter. Regnier subsequently got a call from the Dexter office, which, after the strike, was looking for a temp. She filled in for 3 different positions at the edgy Showtime series.
More offbeat than edgy, Sleepy Hollow finds the 18th-century Ichabod (Brit actor Tom Mison) teaming with a 21st-century cop (Nicole Beharie) to repel the forces of evil.
The show has many obvious influences, including National Treasure, the Tim Burton–Johnny Depp Sleepy Hollow movie, the contemporary Sherlock Holmes film franchise and The X-Files.
“One of our mandates is to inject our storylines with history,” Regnier says.
Okay, but where in history does George Washington turn into a zombie? She laughs and says, “We hope to engender some interest in a subject that people might otherwise think boring.”
Boring? In Sleepy Hollow? Not a chance.