Billions‘ Malin Akerman is set as the lead of NBC’s legal drama pilot Prism, from Daniel and Ben Barnz’s We’re Not Brothers Productions, Carol Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz.
Akerman had been among the most sought-after actors for pilots this season. As we reported this week, her deal for Billions — where she co-stars as Lara, wife of Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) — has been adjusted to enable her to pursue other series. She no longer will be a series regular on the Showtime drama but will continue to recur.
Written by Daniel Barnz, who also directs, Prism is inspired by Rashomon, the 1950 Japanese period psychological thriller directed by Akira Kurosawa. Prism is described as a provocative exploration of a murder trial in which every episode is told through the perspective of a different key person involved. Each new version of the facts ratchets up the mystery and the suspense, calling into question everything we have seen so far and asking, Is the right person on trial? Driven by an ensemble of complicated characters, the show lets the audience ask if truth matters less than who can tell the most compelling story.
Akerman will play Rachel Lewis. An Erin Brockovich force of nature, Rachel is as empathetic as she is ruthless and a brilliantly passionate public defender.
Daniel Barnz and Ben Barnz executive produce along with Mendelsohn and Weitz. Universal TV produces in association with We’re Not Brothers and Carol Mendelsohn Prods.
Kurosawa’s Rashomon uses a plot device that became known as the Rashomon Effect, which involves various characters providing contradictory interpretations of the same incident.
Akerman recently starred as the villain in Rampage, opposite Dwayne Johnson and Naomie Harris. She next stars in and produces upcoming comedy feature Friendsgiving, alongside Kat Dennings, Wanda Sykes and Jane Seymour. Season 4 of Billions premieres March 17. Akerman is repped by UTA, Mosaic and Jackoway Tyerman.
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