1:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman to Star in TNT's 'Animal Kingdom'
TNT has cast the first members of its crime family.
Emmy-winner Ellen Barkin and Felicity favorite Scott Speedman are set to star in the Turner-owned network's drama pilot Animal Kingdom, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Inspired by the 2010 Australian film of the same name, the drama centers on Joshua "J" Cody, 17, who moves in with his wild, freewheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town and is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess. But after Josh discovers that it's all being funded by criminal activities, it suddenly becomes clear to him that joining the family comes with more danger and excitement than he might be ready to handle.
Barkin is set to star as Janine "Smurf " Cody. A working-class mom with what appears to be a picket-fence lifestyle, she's actually the boot-tough matriarch of an organized crime family and has enough authority to make even the most dangerous men tremble in her presence. Jacki Weaver originated the role in the movie and scored an Oscar nomination for her supporting performance. Speedman is set as Barry "Baz" Brown, who was adopted by the Cody family when he was 12 and now leads the group in their armed robberies, but also thinks of breaking away from a life of crime. Joel Edgerton portrayed the role in the film.
For Barkin, the role marks her return latest TV role following Showtime's Happyish and NBC's The New Normal. She next has feature Hands of Stone due in 2016. She's repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Sloss Eckhouse.
Speedman, meanwhile, most recently starred in Ryan Murphy's HBO pilot Open and Shawn Ryan's ABC drama Last Resort. On the feature side, his credits include The Vow and The Strangers. He's with UTA and Circle of Confusion.
From John Wells Productions and Warner Horizon Television, Animal Kingdom was picked up to pilot in May after being previously developed at Showtime in 2011. John Wells (TNT's Southland, ER, The West Wing, Shameless), Jonathan Lisco (Southland), Andrew Stearn (Southland), David Michod (the Animal Kingdom feature) and Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom) are on board to executive produce. Wells will direct the pilot from a script by Lisco. Production on the pilot begins in August in Los Angeles.