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Four years after landing at HBO, J.J. Abrams’ Demimonde is finally coming into focus.
Danielle Deadwyler has been cast as the lead in the HBO drama that marks the first series that the prolific writer, producer and director has created since Fox’s Fringe.
Demimonde follows what happens after a woman is torn away from her husband and daughter in a brutal scientific accident as she is forced to unravel a conspiracy to reunite with her family that has been lost to a dark, distant other world.
Deadwyler, who is fresh off a leading role in HBO Max’s critically praised limited series Station Eleven, will star as Olive Reed, the woman at the center of the drama.
Abrams created the series and serves as writer, director and exec producer on Demimonde, which landed at HBO following a bidding war with Apple in 2018. Kira Snyder, Rand Ravich and Far Shariat serve as co-showrunners on the series. The trio, who also exec produce, replaced original showrunner Bash Doran, who departed in 2019 as Demimonde production was paused while Abrams completed postproduction on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Abrams’ Bad Robot topper Ben Stephenson exec produces, while the banner’s Rachel Rusch Rich is a co-EP. The series hails from Warner Bros. Television, Abrams’ longtime home and where he remains based with a rich overall deal.
Deadwyler’s credits include HBO’s Watchmen, FX’s Atlanta and Netflix feature The Harder They Fall. She next stars as Mamie Till in MGM/Orion Pictures’ feature Till and has Netflix limited series From Scratch in the works. She’s repped by Paradigm, Play Management and Ziffren Brittenham.
Demimonde was first taken out to buyers as a spec script in January 2018 and landed at HBO two weeks later with a straight-to-series order. Sources at the time noted that Abrams was impressed with what the premium cable network did with Westworld, making HBO the frontrunner for the series over deep-pocketed rival Apple. Demimonde marks the first series Abrams has created since Fringe in 2008. The series remains in early preproduction.
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