After a long run of COVID-related bumpy roads, STARZ's Stephen Amell (Arrow) and Alexander Ludwig (Vikings)-starring independent wrestling-set drama Heels has been having a nice run on the production front as of late. Earlier this week, Amell answered the question everyone was asking about where CM Punk was going to sign: the Duffy Wrestling League (DWL), though we're still not clear on if Punk's role will be in front of the camera, behind the scenes, or both (were placing serious money on the last option). Now, we're getting a look at Amell via Instagram that has us hoping that the photo was taken at the end of the day and not the start.
With the simple caption "Big day," Amell posted an image of himself with the look of the man who's put in a rough day. Of course, what caught our eye was the red stuff on Amell's face and neck. As a wrestling fan, you can't help but jump to the conclusion that Amell's Jack Spade (either inside of the ring or in real life) is going to end up wearing a crimson mask. Crimson mask translation: wrestling even though you're bleeding from your head to the point where blood is covering the wrestler's face- usually happens along with blading, where the wrestler cuts themselves on purpose so that the blood makes the match look real.
In Heels, the focus is on the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small-town pro wrestling. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, it follows a family-owned wrestling promotion as two brothers and rivals — Jack Spade (Amell) and Ace Spade (Ludwig) — war over their late father's legacy. In the ring, somebody must play the good guy and somebody must play their nemesis, the heel. But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind.
In the ring, Amell's Jack Spade is the charismatic villain, or heel, of the Duffy Wrestling League (DWL). In the real world, he's its hard-working owner, a husband, and father trying to make ends meet while fighting to realize his impossible dreams. He has the mind of an artist in the body of a warrior, and a Steve Jobs-ian need for perfection — and for control. He says he'll do whatever it takes to build the DWL into an empire. Will he go so far as to risk his marriage – or his relationship with his brother, Ace?
Ludwig's Ace Spade is the beloved hero and star of the DWL. Things are more difficult in the real world, where he struggles to reconcile his town idol status with his insecurities and demons. He's brash, cocky, and self-destructive — yet so damn charming and good-looking that you can almost forgive him. If he can keep it together, he'll have a ticket out of Duffy and to the big time. But that's a big if…
Written by Michael Waldron (Loki), directed by Peter Segal (Shameless), and with Mike O'Malley serving as showrunner, the series also stars Chris Bauer (For All Mankind), Kelli Berglund (Animal Kingdom), Broadway actress/musician Alison Luff, Allen Maldonado (The Last O.G.), James Harrison (S.W.A.T.), Mary McCormack (The Kids Are Alright), David James Elliott (JAG), and Joel Murray (Mad Men). Waldron and O'Malley are also set to executive produce, alongside LBI Entertainment's Julie Yorn, Chris Donnelly, and Patrick Walmsley. STARZ and Lionsgate TV produce.