Karl Urban & Michael Ealy to Lead J.J. Abrams’ Android Cop TV Pilot

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:28 pm,

karlurban red gunpoint Karl Urban & Michael Ealy to Lead J.J. Abrams Android Cop TV Pilot

As fans wait for the Bad Robot series Revolution to return in a couple weeks, a new show from producer J.J. Abrams is coming together for the Fox network.

As we heard last year, Fox has picked up a sci-fi drama pilot from Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman and J.J. Abrams. Formerly known as Inhuman, the series has been described as an action-packed buddy-cop drama set in the future where every LAPD officer is teamed up with an advanced, human-like android – and now we have our two leads for the series.

Deadline reports Dredd star Karl Urban (Bones from the new Star Trek) has taken the lead role of officer John Kennex, a respected man of the law who has become cold and emotionless after a mission gone wrong left him critically injured. In addition, his android partner Dorian will be played by Michael Ealy (Underworld 4, Think Like a Man), while Lili Taylor (The Conjuring, Ransom) and Minka Kelly (Charlie’s Angels, Friday Night Lights) also have unknown roles.

Michael Ealy in Underworld Awakening Karl Urban & Michael Ealy to Lead J.J. Abrams Android Cop TV Pilot

Michael Ealy in ‘Underworld 4′

As of now, those are all the details that have been made available about the series – but the biggest questions surround the android counterpart. How advanced are these androids? Are we looking at something along the lines of Alien and Prometheus? Or maybe they’re more robotic-looking as in I, Robot. If that’s the case, can they be controlled by an outside source? Do they have rules to follow to keep them from going Skynet on the human race?

In addition, it’ll be interesting to see how the use of an android police partner makes it easier to catch criminals. Likely they’re stronger and tougher, so there’s not much risk of them being in danger, but will they act just as carefully as humans? That question might also lead to whether or not they’re treated like humans, or if there’s some kind of divide creating tension similar to what comes from race and class prejudice.

cop policerobot shakinghands Karl Urban & Michael Ealy to Lead J.J. Abrams Android Cop TV Pilot

Urban’s involvement came after very long negotiations, and it’s quite a great bit of casting that should help this pilot land with a splash. Bringing an actor from the popular and successful Star Trek reboot (not to mention the solid remake of Dredd) should get sci-fi fans to flock to this show with great anticipation. Combine that with Abrams and Wyman’s involvement via Bad Robot, and this sounds like a hit.


We’ll likely hear more about the show after the upfronts happen later this year, but it’s a good bet we’ll see this show in the fall or midseason at the latest. With this kind of talent involved, it will be hard to turn down a show like this unless the pilot is an absolute disaster. Stay tuned

Source: Deadline

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  1. Sounds like an interesting show.

    Maybe the android character will have more of an emotional range than his human sidekick? Seems extremely likely.

    I just hope for news of a Dredd sequel though.

  2. I shall christen this show “I, RoboCop”!

    • Nicely done. I was going to say “I, Bad Robot” but yours is much better :)

      • I like that, too. 😀

      • @ Professor

        Aiding and Abetting a person who violated the No Bad Pun Title.

        You Sir have been officially charged. For that your punishment is.

        You have to watch Season 1 and 2 of The Nanny, as well as have Fran Drescher read War and Peace to you 20 pages a day till completion of book.

        • Whoa whoa…that’s a hefty sentence. Just give me a second while I’ll jump on my trusty sheep and ride off into the sunset (get it? on the lam?)

          Ok, I deserve this punishment. Along with a thousand hail marys…and hitting myself.

          • Odd. Now picturing Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows riding the pony.


    • @The Lost Winchester


      Got Creative License…cutting it off…issuing summons….leaving!

      • What seems to be the officer, problem?

        • You Were doing Bad Pun Titles for movies in a No Bad Pun Title zone.

          Your infraction are severe and the punishment is.

          You have to see every episode of Season one of The Nanny, in surround sound.

          Or you can pay the fine, and have Fran Drescher come to your house and read War and Peace out loud to you 10 pages a day till completion of the book.

          • That’s a harsh sentence! Although, Fran Drescher does have nice legs…

            • …or had? It’s been a while… 😀

  3. This sounds awful.

  4. Wasn’t ther already a show about this called Mann and Machine? Early 90s I believe.

  5. Dammit! I want Urban in a Dredd tv series.

  6. Urban’s too good for tv!
    He could be batman.

    • Nobody should be too good for tv.

      • Truly great film stars should.

  7. Wuy would Urban do a TV show? He’s a movie star, and a good one at that. TV? Really?

    • So is Kevin Bacon….and James Purefoy…..and Kiefer Sutherland….and Sir Ian McKellen…..

      • People dont understand that tv is a consistent paycheck and tv is the hot thing to do for many actors.

      • Exactly, older guys who arent that popular, why Im worried.
        I want urban to go up not down, hopefully this wont cheapen his image and will be good.

  8. Sounds worth a peek, anyways. Kind of sounds inspired by Asimov’s I Robot, etc.

  9. Urban is fantastic and should play Batman in Justice League and whatever rebooted Batman movies tied into their Justice League universe… I’m interested in this show because he’ll be in it. But I REALLY hope the execs at WB have been reading fan comments about Urban playing Batman because he’ll rock that role…

  10. I’ll watch this simply because of Urban and because I really like cop shows that stray from the typical Law and Order formula. Fingers crossed that this turns out to be a good show.

  11. Sounds good, reminds me of Alien Nation for some reason

  12. this sounds like total recall 2070. Human and android working together.

  13. Hmmm….Cop teams up with an android.

    Ok Shermans, come with Me, Mr. Peabody and I will take you back in time.

    “Welcome to 1976….Notice the clothes, the hair, see how much gas is.”

    “Ok, welcomed to my home you Shermans, do not touch the grilled cheese.

    Lets watch some TV.”

    “Whats this? Holmes and YoYo? A Cop with an Android Partner?”

    “But, JJ Abrams wants to do something original.”

    “Now you know….Now get back in the WAYBAC Machine you Shermans! We have to get to the 80s and Stop The A-Team from breaking the laws of physics!”

    • You should be fined for googling something with Bing. 😉

      • Chrome does not work well with MACs

        • Chrome does not work well with MACs and C.H.E.E.Z.E.S