NBC’s mid-season drama The Firm, continuing the story from the 1993 film based on the John Grisham novel, has added talent on both sides of the camera. Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear) and Callum Keith Rennie (The Killing) have joined the cast, while Law & Order: Special Victims Unit veteran Helen Shaver will tackle production and directing duties.
The Firm was ordered by the network earlier this year, with perennial that guy Josh Lucas (The Lincoln Lawyer, Poseidon) tapped to play Mitchell McDeere – the role that Tom Cruise played almost twenty years ago. Lewis will play Tammy, Mitch’s “feisty” receptionist. Her personality clashed with the button-down world of high-stakes litigation – think Abby on NCIS.
She’s in an ever-shifting relationship with his brother Ray, played by Rennie. Ray works as a private investigator for Mitch and makes use of his criminal past when sleuthing. He’s a bit of a slacker, but has an unbreakable bond of loyalty with his more determined and successful brother.
Moviegoers will know Lewis from starring roles in the early nineties in movies like Cape Fear, Natural Born Killers and The Basketball Diaries. She’s been taking smaller part as of late, with off-kilter comedy characters in Old School, The Switch and Due Date.
Josh Lucas will take over the role originally played by Tom Cruise
Callum Keith Rennie has been on a role on AMC’s well-received suspense series The Killing, where he played the fiance of Mireille Enos’ character Sarah. He’s made the rounds on a lot of big TV shows, including 24, Californication and Battlestar Galactica - and has also taken smaller roles in movies including Memento and The X Files: I Want to Believe.
Shaver is no stranger to acting herself, having played in dozens of television shows and movies for decades. But for the last few years she’s been focusing on directing, with a smattering of single-episode credits on shows like Castle, The Unit, and Stargate Universe. She’s found steady work in late seasons ofLaw & Order: Special Victims Unit (9 episodes) and Judging Amy (11 episodes). Shaver will produce the entire first season and direct many episodes, but the pilot is in the hands of David Straiton (House, Fringe).
The Firm lands on NBC in spring 2012. Production will begin next month in Canada.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider