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.
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.
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–