With the headlines dominated by cancellations and delays, it’s good to report on something that seems wholly good news. Executive Producer Dean Devlin has announced that TNT‘s cult series Leverage is set to return in a reboot ordered by IMDb TV, Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service.
What’s more, rather than this being a wholesale reboot or re-imagining, many of the original cast members of the show are set to reprise their roles. Beth Riesgraf will reprise her role of Parker, Gina Bellman is back as Sophie Deveraux and Christian Kane (currently appearing in another Dean Devlin show, Almost Paradise) returns as Spencer. Aldis Hodge (recently seen in The Invisible Man and currently appearing in Showtime‘s City on a Hill) will return in a recurring role as long as there aren’t filming conflicts with the Showtime show’s second season. The only member of the main cast not returning is Timothy Hutton (who played Nathan Ford, the insurance agent who decides to go rogue in the original pilot after the death of his son and blackmails the other members to join his off-the-books ‘A-Team’ of justice-driven fugitives). The veteran actor has since appeared in the likes of The Haunting of Hill House, American Crime , Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and How to Get Away with Murder. He was recently in the news over assault allegations dating back to 1983 but was due to appear in the television adaptation of the post-apocalyptic Y: The Last Man. That was a production originally set for a 2020 debut but which has had a troubled history since the original green light in 2018 – including and the departure of lead actor Barry Keoghan (replaced with Ben Schnetzer) and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further delayed that production.
The original Leverage ran on TNT from 2008 to 2012 with 77 episodes and proved a massive cult success, it’s ‘caper-of-the-week’ and zippy dialogue providing fun and humour but also a serious championing of the underdog, something that resonated in the wake of the economic depression of the time. Last year, South Korea created their own version of the show starring Lee Dong Gun, Jeon Hye Bin, Kim Sae Ron, Kim Kwon and Yeo Hoe Hyun. The new IMDb TV series, with co-creators John Rogers and Chris Downey also returning, will see the addition of Noah Wyle, who played Flynn Carsen in Devlin’s The Librarians,(and is, of course, a veteran of ER). He will also direct several episodes as part of his initial year-long contract. The hope is that, with coronavirus safety-protocols in place, the new show could even start filming as early as June or July in and around Louisiana.
“Since the day it was cancelled, I’ve longed to return to the world of Leverage. The show, the characters, the cast and the people who made it happen all hold a very special place in my heart,” Devlin said in a statement. “Our new series with Amazon Studios and IMDb TV is a re-imagining of the original premise. While Leverage centered on a crusade to avenge the death of a child, this series is propelled forward as a redemption story of misdeeds that need amends. I could not be more excited and fired up about returning to the world of Hitter, Hacker, Grifter, Thief!!”