Why ‘Lost’ Demoted Walt Actor Malcolm David Kelley

It’s been over a decade since the last episode of Lost aired. However, fans and critics can’t stop reminiscing about the TV show or the unresolved mysteries of the Oceanic Airlines Flight 815. Many of its core actors were pivotal to the plotline, and at one point, Walt Lloyd was touted as the most important person on the island. However, his scenes were reduced. And the show phased out the character with time. So why did Lost demote Walt actor Malcolm David Kelley?

‘Lost’s pilot episode cost millions to make

lost malcolm david kelley
Malcolm David Kelley as Walt in ‘Lost’ | Mario Perez/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Lost followed a group of people who survived the crash of a commercial jet airliner on a mysterious island in the South Pacific Ocean. The survivors wake up on the island and have to come to terms with their new reality, all while trying to piece together the events leading up to the crash and their situation.

Lost takes viewers through a rollercoaster with flashbacks and flash-forwards, which provide more insight into the main characters. The show was inspired by the 2000 Tom Hanks film Cast Away. It reportedly took years to write. But it became one of the most-watched TV pilots in history when it aired the two-part premiere.

Viewers loved the mysteries presented on the show. It also helped that the show had a larger cast which offered more storylines. Lost ran for six years, earned praise from critics and fans, and garnered a significant following around the world.

However, the show didn’t come cheap, and the pilot episode was especially costly. E! Online reported that the show’s pilot cost between $10 million and $14 million, making it the most expensive at the time. According to the publication, a huge sum of the money was used for one prop.

Since the showrunners wanted to give Lost a sense of realism, they used a decommissioned Lockheed 1011 to represent the downed plane. The show went to great lengths to ensure the plane was updated and dressed to fit the scenario in the show, which explains why it was almost immediately picked up.

Why ‘Lost’ fired Walt actor Malcolm David Kelley

Kelley played Michael Dawson’s son Walt. He was touted as special, and viewers get to see why in some flashback episodes. Some inexplicable occurrences include a bird hitting the window when a young Walt is upset or when Michael claimed that “things happen” when Walt is around.

At the end of the first season, Walt gets kidnapped by the others. According to Looper, the show had a bigger storyline for the actor. The outlet notes that the showrunners originally planned to explore and give Walt superpowers which would have tied well with his season 1 storyline.

However, this didn’t come to fruition. Walt had a smaller role in season 2 and was eventually written out of the show. As it turns out, Kelley leaving had everything to do with him growing up. The show’s first four seasons all take place in 2004. The actor had a growth spurt, so having the grown Kelley play a 10-year-old wouldn’t have been very convincing.

What is Malcolm David Kelley up to now?

After playing Walt, Kelley appeared in Saving Grace for four episodes. After the show was canceled, Kelley moved on to Gigantic, a TeenNick comedy drama playing Finn Katins. The series got axed after only one season.

Afterward, Kelley appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, My Name Is Earl and Bones. However, the actor has focused his talents on music. He and his Gigantic costar Tony Oller formed the pop duo MKTO. The group had a hit in 2014 with the song ‘Classic.’ 

RELATED: Will There Be a ‘Lost’ Reboot? Here’s What We Know