Syfy and Alcon TV have announced that Steven Strait ("Magic City") and Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo ("House of Saddam," House of Sand and Fog
) will star in "The Expanse," the new 10-episode space opera based on the international best-selling book series, premiering on Syfy in 2015.
Strait plays Holden, an officer on the ice-carrying freighter the Canterbury. Holden is a natural leader who's not sure he wants responsibility, but who will soon have no choice when he is drawn into a dangerous plot. Strait's many credits include the movies 10,000 BC
and City Island
Aghdashloo portrays Chrisjen Avasarala, a smart and passionate member of a political family legacy who has risen high in the ranks of Earth's governing body without once standing for election. In addition to appearing in the long-running TV series "24," Aghdashaloo has starred in films such as X-Men: The Last Stand
, The Exorcism of Emily Rose
and The Stoning of Soraya M
Earlier, Syfy and Alcon TV announced that three-time Golden Globe nominee Thomas Jane ("Hung," The Punisher
) will also star as the world-weary Detective Miller, a native of "the Asteroid Belt" between Mars and Jupiter.
"The Expanse" is a thriller set two hundred years in the future. The series follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective (Thomas Jane) and a rogue ship's captain (Steven Strait) together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.
In making the announcement, Bill McGoldrick, Executive Vice President, Original Content, Syfy, said: "Steven and Shohreh are both outstanding talents who we feel lucky to have in our series."
Said Sharon Hall, President, Alcon Television: "We knew this material would attract high end talent. Steven Strait embodies the humor, gravitas and humanity that the character of James Holden possesses. Having him alongside Thomas Jane as our leading men is thrilling. The incomparable Shohreh Aghdashloo is our dream Chrisjen Avasarala."
Award-winning director Terry McDonough ("Breaking Bad," "Suits," "Better Call Saul") will direct the first two episodes.
The Academy Award-nominated screenwriting duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men
, Iron Man
) wrote the pilot and will continue to serve as writers as well as executive producers. Fergus and Ostby are showrunners alongside fellow executive producer Naren Shankar ("CSI," "Farscape").
The Expanse is produced by Alcon Television Group (ATG), a division of Alcon Entertainment, and marks the company's first series order. Alcon co-founders and co-CEO's Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will serve as executive producers with Hall. Alcon Television executive Ben Roberts will serve as co-producer. Ben Cook will serve as producer. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of the Sean Daniel Company developed the original pitch, with Fergus and Ostby, and will also executive produce.
Developed with the Sean Daniel Company as a direct-to-series project, Alcon is financing and executive producing the hour-long, 10 episode series, based on the popular New York Times
bestselling book series collectively known as "The Expanse," written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey). Abraham and Franck will be show producers.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)