ABC has cast Kelly Reilly (Flight, Sherlock Holmes) as the lead in The Black Box, a 13-episode limited drama series written by The Relic and Mystic Pizza scribe Amy Holden Jones to air next year. Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) will direct the project, executive produced by Jones; The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken, who serves as showrunner; X-Men director Bryan Singer; 3 Arts’ Oly Obst (The Invention Of Lying); and Anne Thomopoulos (Borgia). The Black Box centers on Elizabeth Black (Reilly), a world-renowned neuroscientist who appears to have it all but is constantly haunted by her own struggle with mental illness. And that is not the only secret she’s kept locked away from her family and her new fiancé. Reilly was the top choice for the role, and after lengthy negotiations, ABC was able to lock in her and Curtis.
The Black Box is produced by independent film finance and production company Bold Films (Legion) in its first foray into TV production, with Sierra Engine handling international distribution. This marks the first international package deal for WME, which reps Jones, Singer and Chaiken. The agency took an old spec written by Jones after it was reverted to her, attached Singer, brought in Bold and Sierra Engine, pre-sold the series internationally and then took it to the U.S. marketplace where it landed at ABC after a bidding war. British actress Reilly is repped by ICM Partners and UK’s Troika; Curtis is with UTA, Anonymous Content and UK’s Independent.