FOX's upcoming series pilot Prodigal Son is already experiencing drama before the cameras have even started rolling, with The Walking Dead's Tom Payne replacing Finn Jones (Marvel's Iron Fist) as lead in the pilot from Chris Fedak, Sam Sklaver, Berlanti Productions, and Warner Bros TV. The decision was made after the week's initial table read.
Finn received a straight offer for the role, with the terms of the deal closing on the eve of the pilot's table read. The read was the first time producers and Finn were able to see how the project would play out. Apparently, this time the table read did not work out, with Finn exiting over creative differences.
FOX's Prodigal Son centers on Malcolm Bright (Payne), who has a gift. He knows how killers think, how their minds work. Why? His father Martin Whitly (Sheen) was one of the worst — a notorious serial killer called "The Surgeon." That's why Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. He will use his twisted genius and razor-sharp instincts as a forensic profiler to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers, all while dealing with a manipulative mother (Young), annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son and his own constantly evolving neuroses.Intelligent but deeply damaged, Malcolm has a self-deprecating sense of humor and a surprising level of compassion.
Payne joins cast members Michael Sheen and Bellamy Young on the pilot, written by Feder and Sklaver and directed by Lee Toland Krieger. Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau, and Frank Harts co-star in the pilot, which Fedak and Sklaver executive produce with Krieger, Berlanti Prods' Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Warner Bros TV produces with studio-based Berlanti Prods, with Fox Entertainment serving as co-producer.