4:23pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'The Following's' James Purefoy to Star in Sundance TV's 'Hap and Leonard'
James Purefoy has lined up his first post-Following gig. Fresh off his exit from the Fox thriller, the actor has signed on for the new Sundance TV series Hap and Leonard, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Purefoy will play Hap Collins, a white working-class laborer who spent time in federal prison for refusing to be drafted and serve in the Vietnam War. Flash-forward to his 40s, and he's barely scraping by picking roses on an East Texas plantation.
He will star opposite Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire), who portrays Hap's lifelong best friend, Leonard, an openly gay, black Vietnam vet with anger issues going back to the uncle who shunned him for his sexual orientation, making Hap his only support. Together, they struggle to stay on the right side of the law in 1980s East Texas. Bill Sage (Boardwalk Empire) and Jimmi Simpson (House of Cards) also star.
The series, produced by Sundance Studios, is based on the Joe Lansdale's Hap and Leonard novels. The series hails from writer-director Jim Mickle and writer Nick Damici, who also adapted Lansdale's Cold in July. Nick Shumaker and Jeremy Platt will executive produce, along with co-executive producers Joe Lansdale and Lowell Northrop and producer Linda Moran. Mickle will also direct.
Hap and Leonard's six-episode first season will premiere in early 2016.
In addition to The Following, which killed off his alter ego Joe Carroll on Monday, Purefoy's credits also include Rome and Episodes. He is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment.