Pilot Season: Networks Announce Casting for New Shows

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As pilot season rolls out steadily, we’re in the time when we’ll be getting quite a bit of casting news from the networks. So we’re collecting them all together in one spot so it’s easier to take in. Now, with that setup, here’s this week’s batch:

MARVEL’S IRON FIST

The big news of the week: we have an Iron Fist.

Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones has been cast as Danny Rand in Marvel’s Iron Fist, which is the fourth of the solo series airing on Netflix, joining Daredevil, Jessica Jones, the upcoming Luke Cage, and leading to the team-up miniseries The Defenders, in which the four “street level” heroes will combine forces (we assume).

Headshot_FinnJonesJones plays Ser Loras Tyrell on Game of Thrones, but otherwise doesn’t have very much of a rap sheet, which is in line with Marvel’s plan of casting relative unknowns and newcomers in these lead roles.

Danny Rand, in this series, is a “handsome, sophisticated and independent loner who returns to New York City after being missing for years to fight against the criminal element corrupting the city with his incredible kung-fu mastery and the ability to summon the power of the fiery Iron Fist.”

The character, created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15 (1974) and has partnered with Luke Cage in the pages of Heroes for Hire and Power Man and Iron Fist. In an interview with Alter Ego magazine, writer Thomas said that he and Kane had created the character

because I’d seen my first kung fu movie, even before a Bruce Lee one came out, and it had a thing called ‘the ceremony of the Iron Fist’ in it. I thought that was a good name, and we already had Master of Kung Fu going, but I thought, ‘Maybe a superhero called Iron Fist, even though we had Iron Man, would be a good idea.’ [Publisher] Stan [Lee] liked the name, so I got hold of Gil and he brought in his Amazing Man influences, and we designed the character together….

Rand, originally from New York, finds himself adopted at age nine by the ruler of the mystical city of K’un-L’un, where he is taught martial arts and the power of the Iron Fist. Upon returning to New York as an adult, he takes up the cause and begins fighting crime with his powers.

The Hashtag Show first reported rumors that Jones was in the running, and that has since been confirmed by Entertainment Weekly and other news outlets.

MAKING HISTORY

Headshot_AdamPallyThe Last Man on Earth creators Phil Lord and Chris Miller, along with Julius “Goldie” Sharpe, are bringing a new single-camera comedy about  a trio of unlikely time travelers who find themselves irreversibly complicating their present lives by interacting with their pasts.

Adam Pally (Happy Endings, The Mindy Project) will star as Dan, a computer science professor who finds a way to travel through time. Despite his intelligence, he’s considered a failure by his family, and he’s unpopular with students and colleagues.

After discovering time travel, he hopes to get a fresh start and meet “less shallow people”. Pally will play Dan at two points in his life: present day “nerd rage” Dan and a more carefree younger version.

UNTITLED CW PARANORMAL PROJECT

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Also on the CW, Kevin Williamson’s yet-to-be-titled paranormal series has its leading actors: Gossip Girl alum Jessica Szohr and Longmire‘s Bailey Chase.

Szohr, who also will appear in the upcoming Twin Peaks revival, plays Jasmine Lacroix, the granddaughter of a voodoo priestess. Having taken her background and turned it into a tourist attraction in Baton Rouge.

When she starts to experience paranormal phenomena, she seeks the help of parapsychologist Clark Patterson (Chase), who’s career has been reduced to performing at ghost conventions.

FUTURE MAN

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Over on Hulu, the original comedy Future Man has added Eliza Coupe to star opposite Josh Hutcherson, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The comedy is produced by Seth Rogen’s Point Grey Pictures and Sony Pictures Television.

Hutcherson stars as Josh Futterman, a janitor who also happens to be a world-ranked gamer. His performance with video games earns him the attention of mysterious visitors from the future. They believe he’s the key to defeating an imminent invasion.

Coupe will star as Tiger, a futuristic soldier character in the Cybergeddon video game. She and her partner travel through time to recruit Josh to save the world, all the while carrying a secret that could destroy the mission.

RIVERDALE

The latest offering from the CW and producer Greg Berlanti, Riverdale adapts the Archie Comics characters in a way that’s being described as “subversive” and exploring “the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade” in a modern-day interpretation. We’ve included it here based on the fact that it’s Greg Berlanti, a comic book show, and we’ll probably see some supernatural elements. Maybe.

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18-year-old New Zealander K.J. Apa has been cast as Archie Andrews, a conflicted high school sophomore who finds himself juggling the affections of several girls after spending the summer working at his father’s construction business. Much to the annoyance of both his father and his football coach — yes, this Archie play football, apparently — Archie would rather write and perform music.

Headshot_LukePerryFather Fred Andrews will be played by Beverly Hills 90210 alumnus Luke Perry. The senior Andrews is hoping his son takes over the family business someday. (This new version is a little more TV and CW friendly with his looks, seems like.)

Those “several girls” paying attention to Archie: Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Madeline Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, and Ashleigh Murray as Josie (as in “the Pussycats”).

Betty is the wholesome one, studious and eager to please with a crush on her longtime best friend, Archie. But she’s tired of being the “perfect” daughter and student, and turns to new friend Veronica for advice. Josie is the lead singer for Josie and the Pussycats, and has no interest at all in any of the songs Archie has written. She’s described as “snooty and ambitious”. Cheryl Blossom is “rich, entitled, and never accountable” while being manipulative. The description says she recently lost her twin brother in a mysterious accident, so figure on that to play into the “surreal” aspects of the show.

The biggest surprise is the casting of Cole Sprouse as Jughead. The twin star of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody will play Archie’s former best friend, and a heartthrob to boot.

The last announcement of the week has newcomer Camila Mendes joining the cast as socialite Veronica Lodge, “silver-tongued high school sophomore who returns to Riverdale from New York, eager to reinvent herself after a scandal involving her father.” Mendes comes to the show fresh, with no major roles yet on her resume.

Prediction: Archie and Jughead finally bury the hatchet when they have to prove their musical skills in the ultimate Riverdale High battle of the bands: Josie and the Pussycats against the Archies! Season finale cliffhanger!

 

via: Variety, The Hashtag Show, Entertainment Weekly, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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