After lengthy negotiations, USA Network has closed a deal with CBS TV Studios for a pilot order to Evil Men, a supernatural drama pilot that has tapped Dallas Roberts (Dallas Buyers Club) and Clifton Collins Jr. (Pacific Rim) to star and Gary Fleder to direct. The project, on which Universal Cable Prods. has come on as co-producer, was written by Daniel Taplitz (Breakin’ All The Rules). It follows Harry Killas (Roberts), an upstanding, middle-class family man whose life is turned upside down when he is approached by a frighteningly powerful entity and commanded to kill “evil men” or see his family — along with his city — utterly destroyed. However, the gleeful psycho who is meant to be his first target, instead begins teaching him how to carry out his new destiny.

Image (3) fleder1__120910235125.jpg for post 679103Collins will play Lazlo Kirk, the profoundly evil former war criminal with magnetic charm and a deep, unpredictable violent streak, who forces himself into Harry’s life on a twisted mission of personal redemption. Taplitz and Fleder executive produce alongside CBS TV Studios-based Eric and Kim Tannenbaum as well as Mary Beth Basile. Filming is slated to begin in early December in Vancouver.

“This supernatural drama is a symbolic tale of good versus evil set in the everyday modern world,” said Jackie de Crinis, EVP Original Programming, USA Network, “It is a highly relatable story that begs the question of just how far we would go to protect our families.”

Evil Men marks USA’s fifth drama pilot this season as the network recently signaled a pullout from original comedy to focus on its core drama brand. The network brass intend to pick up as many of the five as possible to series as part of the network’s renewed push in drama. The other four hourlong pilots are Carlton Cuse’s Colony, starring Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies; Mr Robot, starring Christian Slater and Rami Malek (24); Stanistan, starring Jennifer Carpenter; and Queen Of The South starring Alice Braga. USA also has renewed most of its existing dramas including Suits, Satisfaction, Graceland and Royal Pains, with a pickup for Covert Affairs pending.

Roberts, repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion, is coming off a co-starring role on CBS’ crime drama Unforgettable. He also played zombie scientist Milton Mamet in Season 3 of The Walking Dead and recurs on The Good Wife. Taplitz is with ICM Partners.