Sense8 alum Brian J. Smith is set as a lead in CBS drama pilot L.A. Confidential, based on James Ellroy’s classic noir novel. It comes from Arnon Milchan, producer of the acclaimed 1997 L.A. Confidential movie; CBS TV Studios; New Regency; and Lionsgate TV.

Written by Harper and directed by Michael Dinner, L.A. Confidential follows three homicide detectives, a female reporter and a Hollywood actress whose paths intersect as the detectives pursue a sadistic serial killer among the secrets and lies of gritty, glamorous 1950s Los Angeles.

CBS

Smith will play Detective Ed Exley, the lead role played by Guy Pearce in the 1997 movie that earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination.  Cold (though not without a conscience), obviously brilliant, authoritative and fiercely ambitious, Ed Exley is a uniformed L.A. cop when the pilot story begins. The son of Preston Exley, former hero detective-turned-real estate developer, he is determined to make his mark and to become a hero in his father’s eyes. Competing against the memory of his deceased brother, his father’s favorite, Ed will do anything to prove himself. He wants nothing more than to make detective and is single-minded in his pursuit. Smith joins Walton Goggins, who was cast as Det. Jack Vincennes this week.

Harper executive produces with Milchan, Dinner and Anna Fricke.

Smith played Will Gorski on Netflix’s sci-fi drama series Sense8, from Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. His other TV credits include DefianceBlue Bloods, Person of Interest and The Good Wife. Smith also earned a Tony nomination for playing the Gentleman Caller in the 2013 revival of The Glass Menagerie. He’ll next be seen in the feature 22 Chaser. Smith is repped by Innovative and Sanders Armstrong Caserta.