The trend of adapting movies into television is particularly prominent right now, with the likes of Bates Motel and Teen Wolf currently on the air and titles like Taken and Training Day headed on their way to the small screen. In regards to the big-screen-to-small-screen translations so far, the common practice appears to be to feature an all-new cast (with the recent exception of Bradley Cooper in Limitless) and with plenty of roles to be filled we wanted to update you on the of the latest television shows to add new actors to their rosters.
We discovered that the Taken franchise had been added to the list of films that are being adapted for television in 2015, when NBC ordered a prequel series based on the property. Produced by Luc Besson (writer and producer on the original Taken trilogy) and Alex Graves (director of episodes for Homeland and Game of Thrones), the spin-off series will delve into the protagonist’s backstory by depicting how he developed his particular set of skills.
Graves is set to direct the pilot, which will place Vikings actor Clive Standen in the lead role as the younger version of Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson in the film series). Meanwhile, Mills’ elite Operational Control team (OPCON) is also taking shape with news emerging this week that Gaius Charles, Monique Gabriela Curnen and James Landry Hebert have been cast as integral members of the team. They can now welcome a new colleague, as actor Michael Irby has landed a regular role on NBC’s straight-to-series adaptation of the hit movie franchise.
According to Deadline, Irby will play Sam, a member of Bryan’s OPCON team of elite operatives who take care of America’s national security emergencies on the ground. The character will be a bit of a ‘nerd’ who revels in pushing people’s buttons, which should create an interesting working relationship alongside Casey (Hebert), who likes to be effective operationally and take his duties very seriously.
Irby is no stranger to television shows, having appeared in series regular roles on True Detective, The Unit, Almost Human, Line of Fire, and Haunted. Additionally, he has some recurring roles on 24 and Law & Order to his credit and has guest starred on a handful of other shows including the likes of Castle and CSI.
The TV adaptation of the 2001 crime thriller Training Day has had quite an unfortunate start. Shortly after CBS ordered a pilot, the film’s director Antoine Fuqua had to step out of the pilot’s director’s chair due to scheduling conflicts with his latest film, The Magnificent Seven. Further unsettling news arose when Training Day star Ethan Hawke, who had been in talks to reprise his role of Jake Hoyt, also exited the show.
Thankfully, news picked up over in the casting corner when Aliens actor Bill Paxton signed on to play the main villain Frank Rourke, who is a corrupt detective that oversees an elite LAPD unit. While we are yet to discover who will play Kyle Craig, the cop who is assigned the mission to take down Rourke, we do know that Arrow’s Katrina Law will be stepping in alongside Paxton for the present-day reimagining of the 2001 feature.
Deadline is reporting that Law will play Detective Rebecca Lee, an officer within the LAPD’s Special Investigation Section (S.I.S.). We imagine that when the truth surfaces her loyalties might lie with Rourke (Paxton), since he rescued her from human traffickers when she was just four years old and looks up to him as the father she never had.
Most recently, Law played Nyssa al Ghul (the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul) on CW network’s Arrow, though she also had recurring roles in The Resistance, Spartacus: War of the Damned and a short run on the internet exclusive 24 spin-off series, better known as The Rookie: CTU.
We'll keep you posted on the development of both the Taken and Training Day TV series.