Steve Howey has taken the lead in the True Lies TV show, with a CBS drama pilot based on the James Cameron action movie of the same name. The Shameless star will reportedly play Harry, the role played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original movie. Per Variety, this incarnation of Harry is described as a “benign, play-it-safe, seemingly risk-averse computer salesman and devoted family man, married with two kids. But in reality, Harry is an undercover operative, a first-class spy working for a covert U.S. Intelligence organization.”
Also like in the True Lies movie, the pilot will also bring in an unnamed actress to co-star as Harry’s suburban wife. Played by Jamie Lee Curtis in the original movie, the character was originally named Helen, and it’s not clear if that name will remain in this new version. In True Lies, Harry’s wife is propelled into “a life of danger and adventure when she’s recruited to work alongside him to save the world as they try to revitalize their passionless marriage.”
Shameless fans will definitely recognize Howey for his role as Kevin Ball, a character he played throughout all eleven seasons of the hit Showtime series. He was previously best known for his role as Van Montgomery on the sitcom Reba, with his movie credits including Stan Helsing, Game Over, Man!, and Stuber. Steve Howey is also set to appear in the upcoming feature Day Shift. Should True Lies be picked up to series, the potential is there for Harry to blossom into his biggest role yet.
Burn Notice creator Matt Nix is writing the pilot for True Lies. Anthony Hemingway is directing. Nix will also executive producing under his Flying Glass of Milk Productions banner alongside Hemingway for Anthony Hemingway Productions. James Cameron, the original movie’s director, will also executive produce through Lightstorm Entertainment with Rae Sanchini. Also on board to exec produce are McG, Mary Viola, and Corey Marsh of Wonderland Sound and Vision, along with Josh Levy of Flying Glass of Milk. Sean Hoagland and Whitney Davis of Anthony Hemingway Productions will co-exec produce.
We’ll see how things turn out this time, but this pilot order follows a previous attempt at Fox to develop True Lies as a TV series. In 2017, the network put in a pilot commitment, but the project fizzled before it ever saw the light of day. Marc Guggenheim was on board to serve as the screenwriter for that version of the planned series with McG up to possibly direct. McG has since remained attached as an executive producer for this current incarnation.
It’s easy to see why networks are looking at True Lies as inspiration for a new show. The movie was a big hit when it was released in 1994, scoring nearly $379 million at the box office. It also earned nominations at the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs, serving as one of the most memorable action movies of the 1990s. Various potential plans to make a movie sequel never happened, but perhaps in this day and age, True Lies might be better served on the small screen. At least that’s the hope at CBS. This news comes to us from Variety.