Syfy’s upcoming Defiance, a combination TV show and massive-multiplayer open world game being developed between Universal Cable Productions and Trion Worlds, has its first TV star with Grant Bowler, the New Zealander who previously appeared on True Blood, Lost, and Ugly Betty. Syfy’s president of original content Mark Stern said, “Grant’s charismatic charm and his depth as an actor make him the perfect anchor as we build the ensemble for this sweeping adventure series.”
Bowler will play Jeb Nolan, a “boomtown lawkeeper” on an Earth ravaged by war where now humans and aliens coexist, in a sort of western/sci-fi mix.
The TV pilot is being written by SF TV veteran Rockne S. O’Bannon. The game will be available on multiple platforms. No release dates have been set, but a trailer for the game is available at the official web site.
Update: From the press release:
New York – January 17, 2012 – Syfy has inked actor Grant Bowler to star in Defiance, a groundbreaking science fiction series that will unite television and massive multiplayer online (MMO) gaming for the very first time. The visionary enterprise is in collaboration with Trion Worlds, with the Syfy series and Trion’s multi-platform shooter MMO poised to debut simultaneously.
The announcement was made today by Mark Stern, President of Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head of Original Content for Universal Cable Productions, which is the studio for the project. “Grant’s charismatic charm and his depth as an actor make him the perfect anchor as we build the ensemble for this sweeping adventure series,” said Stern. “We’re very excited to have him join us on this incredible journey.”
The New Zealand born Bowler is well known for the recurring role on Ugly Betty (2008) as Wilhelmina Slater’s love interest, Connor Owens, and for the role of Cooter, the leader of the werewolf biker gang in the HBO series True Blood (2010) and Captain Gault in ABC’s Lost (2008). Bowler’s other notable roles include movies such as Atlas Shrugged (2011) and Killer Elite (2011). He will next be seen in indie movie, City of Gardens (2012). Bowler is represented by Don Buchwald & Associates / Fortitude in USA and Sue Barnett & Associates in Australia and managed by Untitled Entertainment.
Penned and executive produced by legendary sci-fi TV writer Rockne S. O’Bannon, (Warehouse 13, Alien Nation, seaQuest DSV and Farscape), Defiance will be directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest). It is slated to commence production April 2012 in Toronto.
Set in the near future, Defiance introduces a world where humans and aliens must learn to live together on an exotic new Earth that has been transformed by alien terra-forming machines.
Bowler plays Jeb Nolan, the law keeper in a bustling frontier boomtown that is one of the new world’s few oasis of civility and inclusion. Nolan is a former Marine who fought in the alien conflict and suffered the loss of his wife and child in the war. The trauma transformed him into a lone wanderer in the wilds of this new and dangerous world, bringing him to the town where his peacekeeping skills make him a valuable addition this new community.
The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe, evolving together over time to tell an overall story that is more powerful together.