One of the more exciting pilots currently in production, REM, has found its leading man. Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The Patriot) will both star in and produce the hopeful NBC project.

The creators of REM are playing it close to the chest at this point, describing the premise of the show as an Inception-like thriller in which a policeman (Isaacs) wakes up in two realities at once. While the nod to 2010’s most brain-tingling blockbuster is almost certainly a marketing move, the premise of the show is refreshing amidst less original fare.

REM will be executive produced by Howard Gordon, recently of 24, along with writer Kyle Killen. Killen is known for Fox’s critically-acclaimed ratings flop Lone Star and the upcoming Mel Gibson drama The Beaver. The title refers to rapid-eye movement, the stage of deep sleep in which dreaming occurs.

Isaacs is best known for his work in the various Harry Potter movies as Draco Malfoy’s father, Lucius. He’s also played memorable roles as Colonel Tavvington in The Patriot and Major Briggs in Green Zone. REM will be a return to television for Isaacs, whose work on showtime’s Brotherhood three years ago was received favorably. In addition to his film roles, Isaacs has made a name for himself as a voice actor on projects like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Batman: Under the Red Hood. He’ll voice Siddeley the jet in Disney’s Cars 2 this summer.

Like most spec buys and pilots so far this season, REM has yet to be picked up for an initial season order. While Jason Isaacs isn’t an A-lister, he’s a competent actor with several memorable roles, which should let the project stand out in a crowd of fall hopefuls. The writing should be top-notch if Lone Star was any indication, and with Gordon at the helm the production values will meet almost anything on network TV. The double reality cop story hinted at by the show’s tagline has some comparing it to the alternate reality on Fringe – appropriate, since REM will need to start strong if it’s going to compete with other science fiction pilots like Fox’s Terra Nova and Alcatraz.

If NBC picks up REM for a full season, expect it in the fall or early spring.

Source: TV Line