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Add another Oscar winner who is headed to television.
Renee Zellweger has been tapped to star in Netflix’s straight-to-series anthology What/If. The drama, which has been greenlighted for 10 episodes, is described as a social thriller that explores the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. Each season will tackle a different morality tale inspired by culturally consequential source material and the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life.
Mike Kelley, who created ABC’s Revenge and CBS’ Swingtown, came up with the idea for the project and will serve as showrunner and write the series. Kelley will executive produce alongside Page Fright’s Melissa Loy, Atlas Entertainment’s Alex Gartner and Charles Roven and Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke of Compari Entertainment. Jackie Levine of Compari will serve as co-exec producer.
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Zellweger (Cold Mountain, Jerry Maguire, Chicago, the Bridget Jones movies) will star as Anne. Additional details about the character — and the plot of season one — are being kept under wraps, though sources say it may focus on newlyweds.
What/If is Zellweger’s first-ever TV series-regular role. Before this, her largest TV commitment had been the lead in 1992’s USA Network telepic A Taste for Killing, which also marked her acting debut. She exec produced 2008’s Lifetime telepic Living Proof. On the feature side, Zellweger’s credits include an Oscar, Golden Globe and SAG Award for her supporting turn in Cold Mountain, as well as lead actress Academy Award noms for Bridget Jones’s Diary and Chicago. The Jerry Maguire co-star, who returned to the big screen in 2016 following a six-year break for Bridget Jones’s Baby, next stars as Judy Garland in Judy. Zellweger is repped by CAA and manager John Carrabino.
For his part, What/If marks Kelley’s first TV series since ABC’s Revenge wrapped its four-season run in 2015. His credits include creating CBS’ two-season drama Swingtown and writing on Jericho, The O.C. and Providence. He is repped by CAA and Sloane Offer.
This is Page Fright’s second straight-to-series order, joining OWN’s David Makes Man.
For Atlas, meanwhile, the company is in production on the first of its two-season order for the Bravo anthology Dirty John. It recently wrapped the fourth and final season of Syfy critical favorite 12 Monkeys.
What/If represents Zemeckis’ (Back to the Future) and former agent Rapke’s Compari’s latest TV series and first at Netflix. The duo next produce NBC’s Lost-like fall drama Manifest and History’s UFO drama Blue Book. They are repped by WME and Gang Tyre.
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