Syfy's 'The Machine' Reboot Enlists 'Roots,' 'Better Things' Actors

The pilot is based on the 2013 British sci-fi film of the same name.
Courtesy of Syfy; Getty Images

Syfy's The Machine reboot is adding to its ensemble.

Bridger Zadina (Better Things), Roots grad Malachi Kirby and Olly Rix (Of Kings and Prophets) have signed on for series regular roles, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Based on the 2013 film, The Machine is set in a world that is being transformed by the emergence of artificial intelligence and explores the epic conflict between man and technology through the lives and motivations of six interwoven characters — each of whom holds the key to humanity’s victory or its destruction.

Zadina will play Santiago, an agoraphobic young hacker who — after uncovering the dangerous truth behind those he believed to be his allies — is cast out into the world he desperately fears. Through his harrowing fight for survival, Santiago begins to emerge as one of humanity's last great hopes in the coming war against rising artificial intelligence.

Zadina's other credits include Law & Order: SVU, Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds and an upcoming recurring role on Bosch. He is repped by CESD and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.

Kirby is set to play Aaron, a lonely and out-of-place young man who created an A.I. as his best friend — benevolent, brilliant, supportive, and in many ways, his equal. Then recruited by the CIA for his creation, Aaron was placed in their cyber-warfare division. When the government used his work to spearhead a devastating cyberattack, Aaron was forced to destroy his creation and flee. Now in need of resources and money to rebuild, Aaron seeks a trustworthy partner that can fund the re-creation of his A.I. and save humanity, not destroy it.

In addition to starring as Kunta Kinte in History's Roots remake, Kirby's credits include Black Mirror. He is repped by WME and attorney Karl R. Austen.

Rix will portray James, the principal test subject of a secret Ministry of Defense Artificial Intelligence program. A soldier, his badly injured mind and body have been rebuilt using cutting-edge prosthetics and implanted artificial intelligence, elevating him far beyond the limits of normal human capabilities. As James becomes a pivotal player in the looming rise of artificial intelligence, how much humanity remains within him is still unclear. If James is a savior or destroyer is unclear, but the fate of our world may rest in his hands.

The actor's other credits include The Musketeers and Death Comes to Pemberley. He is repped by UTA and LINK Entertainment.

The Machine film starred Caity Lotz and Toby Stephens as computer scientists who create an artificial intelligence for the military.

Filmmaker Caradog James (Don’t Knock Twice) will write and exec produce the pilot with Red & Black Films. The film’s producer, John Giwa-Amu, also will executive produce the pilot.

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