Fresh off her role as besieged President Elizabeth Keane on Homeland and an unforgiving stint on Netflix’s Unbelievable, Elizabeth Marvel joins veterans of Fear the Walking Dead, The Royals and the just launched Raising Dion in the cast of the demonic live-action series from Hulu and the home of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The aptly named Marvel will play the long-institutionalized Victoria Helstrom in the 10-episode first season. Paul Zbyszewski will serve as showrunner and executive produce with Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb.
Set to debut next year on the Disney-controlled streamer, Helstrom will be led by Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon as supposed serial-killer offspring Daimon Helstrom and Ana Helstrom, respectively. Plagued by their family background, Grantchester and ex-The Royals blackmailing bodyguard Austen and Fear TWD alum Lemmon will pursue the world’s vilest of the vile – with some family drama of their own.
Raising Dion’s Ariana Guerra, Ballers’ Robert Wisdom, June Carryl and Alain Uy will also star in the live-action series that Hulu picked up back in May (See character descriptions below). The pulling back of the Helstrom cast curtain comes as the show kicks into production in Vancouver and after a long-planned Ghost Rider series with Gabriel Luna was shuttered last month.
Of course, when you may or may not be leaping into Hellfire, Marvel’s first foray into real horror looks to be pretty hot.
“We feel incredibly fortunate to have landed a cast loaded with this much talent,” Zbyszewski told Deadline today of the Helstrom unveiling. “From the beginning, we knew we’d need a group of actors who were multifaceted, who could play all the chords any great Marvel show promises to play, from dramatic thriller to comedy to action. It’s going to be really fun to watch them work.”
“Marvel Television is thrilled to have such an amazing cast that enriches Paul’s fantastic writing,” Loeb added about the show produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios. “The ensemble is the perfect way to bring our audience into our Adventure into Fear franchise causing delicious nightmares of what’s to come!”
First making an appearance in the almost equally fiery Ghost Rider comic in 1973, Daimon Hellstrom aka Son of Satan was granted his own series soon afterwards. With a sibling called Satana in the books, the Roy Thomas- and Gary Friedrich-created Hellstrom the comic character has demonic abilities and the ability to travel back and forth between this world and Hell.
With a multi-world of narrative possibilities, Hellstrom has gone through various iterations and spellings over the years. He is currently set as a member of the down-and-dirty Strikeforce comic team with Blade, Monica Rambeau, Angela, Winter Soldier, Wiccan and Spider-Woman.
No word yet on how Helstrom the TV series will roll out on Hulu, but don’t be shocked if they debut a trio of episodes in one go and the remainder week after week.
Here are the cast and characters descriptions unveiled Tuesday:
Tom Austen (Grantchester, The Royals) as Daimon Helstrom – A professor of ethics who moonlights as an exorcist, Daimon has no illusions about saving a world he has no patience for; he just hopes he can help a few of the people closest to him. In his battle against a hidden world, Daimon is determined to root out demons as they arise, and will not stop until they’re vanquished.
Sydney Lemmon (Fear The Walking Dead, Succession) as Ana Helstrom – By day, Ana runs a successful auction house and suffers no fools, but her true interest lies in hunting down those who hurt others. Traumatized by her father as a child, Ana is driven to rid the world of those like him, even as she secretly worries her father will return.
Elizabeth Marvel (Homeland, The Meyerowitz Stories) as Victoria Helstrom – Plagued by demons both real and imagined, Victoria has been institutionalized for 20 years. While she struggles to be herself, she hopes to repair her relationship with her children.
Robert Wisdom (Ballers, Watchmen) as Caretaker – Caretaker is a guardian of knowledge of the occult. He uses his knowledge and his relationship with Ana to help keep demonic forces at bay.
June Carryl (Mindhunter, Dead Women Walking) as Dr. Louise Hastings – A psychologist with a strong faith but an open mind, Hastings is head of the psychiatric hospital where Victoria is being monitored. She has watched over the Helstrom family for years, caring for them as best she can.
Ariana Guerra (Raising Dion, Insatiable) as Gabriella Rosetti – A woman balancing logic and faith, Gabriella arrives from the Vatican to help Daimon and Hastings uncover cases of demonic possession. She wants to save everyone she can, including Daimon.
Alain Uy (The Passage, Paper Tigers) as Chris Yen – Yen is Ana’s business partner and her closest friend — some would say surrogate brother. He carries out the bulk of the auction house’s responsibilities and assists Ana with whatever she needs.