EXCLUSIVE: Pierce Brosnan is returning to television as the lead of AMC’s upcoming drama series The Son. The former James Bond is replacing Sam Neill who had been originally cast in the role but left for personal reasons.

This marks only the second major TV series gig for Brosnan three decades after his starring role on the 1982 NBC adventure dramedy Remington Steele.

Based on the book by Philipp Meyer and written by Meyer, Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, The Son is a multi-generational epic tale of the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas family.

Brosnan will play Eli, the charismatic patriarch of the McCullough family. As a child, he was kidnapped and raised among the Comanche Native American tribe and applies the brutal Comanche worldview to his business dealings. He was born on the day Texas became an independent Republic, earning the nickname “First Son of Texas” and is a relic of the Wild West, uneasy with the inexorable taming of Texas and the uncertain future of his legacy.

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Kevin Murphy serves as executive producer/showrunner on the series, which has a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Tom Harper (War & Peace) is directing the opening episode of The Son, which begins production this month in Austin for a 2017 premiere.

Sonar Entertainment and AMC Studios are producing the series, which co-stars Henry Garrett, Zahn McClarnon, Paola Nunez and Sydney Lucas. Michael Connolly also executive produces.

Irish-American actor Brosnan recently completed filming The Foreigner, a Martin Campbell film co-starring Jackie Chan. Brosnan also stars in the upcoming thriller I.T. produced by his production company, Irish DreamTime, alongside Voltage Pictures and Friendly Films.

Last year Brosnan co-starred in the thriller No Escape alongside Owen Wilson and Lake Bell; Survivor with Milla Jovovich; and Some Kind Of Beautiful with Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba and Malcolm McDowell, which Brosnan also produced.

Bronsan is repped by CAA and attorneys Tom Hansen and Stewart Brookman.