J.K. Simmons has been cast in a new Amazon sci-fi series called Lightyears, where he will replace the departing Ed O'Neill. He will now co-star across from Sissy Spacek in the series, written and co-executive produced by Holden Miller. O'Neill has left the show for what they are saying are "family reasons". The pair will play Franklin and Irene York, who find a chamber in their backyard that is a gateway to another planet. You know, regular everyday stuff. Deadline Hollywood had the news of the switch-up.
Lightyears Will Be Better With Simmons
"Lightyears follows Franklin and Irene York, played by Simmons and Spacek, a couple who years ago discovered a chamber buried in their backyard that inexplicably leads to a strange, deserted planet. They've carefully guarded their secret ever since, but when an enigmatic young man enters their lives, the Yorks' quiet existence is quickly upended — and the mysterious chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could ever have imagined." Call me crazy, but I don't picture Ed O'Neill as a sci-fi star. Maybe because I watched every season of Modern Family in the past month and a half and that's still fresh in my brain. A great actor, but I can't see it.
J.K. Simmons however is one the very best actors doing the damn thing right now, or ever really. And in this role, where "he doesn't share her fascination with the chamber, a secret that weighs heavily on him. For her sake, he is willing to endure its presence in their lives, but his patience is wearing thin."? That is right in his wheelhouse. Lightyears was not on my radar before today. Now I am glad it is.