9:44am PT by Kate Stanhope
J.K. Simmons to Headline Starz Drama From 'Imitation Game' Director
Fresh off his Oscar win for Whiplash, J.K. Simmons is set to headline Starz's new supernatural drama Counterpart.
Described as an espionage thriller with a metaphysical twist, the series is created and written by Justin Marks (The Jungle Book). Morten Tyldum, coming off his Academy Award nomination for helming The Imitation Game, is attached to direct the first two episodes. Marks and Tyldum will executive produce with Anonymous Content's Bard Dorros and Keith Redmon (True Detective, The Knick) and Gilbert Films' Jordan Horowitz and Gary Gilbert (The Kids Are Alright). Starz is eyeing a two-season pickup for the series.
Simmons will play Harold Silk/Prime, a lowly cog in a bureaucratic UN agency, who is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret when he figures out the agency he works for is guarding a secret: A crossing to parallel dimension. Through Howard and his counterpart on the other side (Prime) the show carries themes of identity, idealism, what-ifs and lost love.
Starz will produce the series with MRC, which marks their third collaboration, including the upcoming Patrick Stewart comedy Blunt Talk and the Ed Helms-Hillary Swank drama The One Percent.
The project marks Simmons' return to television following a busy awards season. He most recently stared on TNT's The Closer from 2005-2012.