In her first major TV role, Oscar winner Renée Zellweger has been tapped to star in What/If, a social thriller anthology drama series for Netflix from Revenge and Swingtown creator Mike Kelley and producer Robert Zemeckis.
Written by Kelley, directed by Phillip Noyce and produced by Page Fright, Atlas Entertainment and Compari Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television, What/If explores the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. Each season will tackle a different morality tale inspired by culturally consequential source material, and the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life.
I hear the 10-episode first season focuses on two struggling newlyweds who accept a powerful woman’s (Zellweger) ethically perilous proposition to secure a badly needed financial windfall.
Zellweger’s Anne is a shrewd and mercurial San Francisco venture capitalist. She is magnetically charismatic, seductive, charming, even vulnerable when it serves her purpose. But she’s also a virtuoso of deception with a cauldron of destructive secrets, including a deeply buried metaphorical deal with the devil that set the course for her life back when she was still just a girl herself.
Executive producing the series are Kelley and Melissa Loy via Page Fright, Alex Gartner and Charles Roven via Atlas Entertainment and Zemeckis and Jack Rapke via Compari Entertainment. Jackie Levine of Compari Entertainment serves as co-executive producer.
Noyce is directing and executive producing the first two episodes.
Zellwegger, who has a one-year series regular deal for What/If, is a three-time Oscar nominee and won for Cold Mountain. Her memorable starring turns include Jerry Maguire, Chicago, and the Bridget Jones movies. She is repped by CAA and manager John Carrabino.
This marks Page Fright’s second straight-to-series order, following Tarell Alvin McCraney’s coming-of-age drama David Makes Man at OWN, which Kelley, Loy and McCraney developed and executive produce with Oprah Winfrey and Michael B. Jordan.
Atlas Entertainment (12 Monkeys) is in production on the true-crime, scripted anthology series Dirty John, starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana, which has a two-season order at Bravo.
Through Compari’s WBTV deal, Zemeckis and Rapke executive produce new NBC series Manifest. Additionally, the company has series Project Blue Book at History.
Noyce is repped by WME.