EXCLUSIVE: He’s played a local politician on two seasons of AMC’s The Killing and Honest Abe himself in Nat Geo’s Killing Lincoln, and now Billy Campbell is set to portray the emotionally troubled CDC pathologist lead in Syfy’s upcomng Helix. Two days before Helix’s Comic-Con panel, I’ve learned that the actor will play Dr. Alan Farragut in the dark thriller series about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak. Farragut is just getting over a failed marriage and the affair his wife had with his brother, who now needs his help after becoming infected with a deadly disease. Campbell, who also stars in the Ron Maxwell-directed Civil War feature Copperheads, is set to start filming on the 13-episode series in Montreal on July 29. Due to debut in January, Helix is executive produced by Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ronald D. Moore, showrunner Steven Maeda and Lynda Obst. Writer Cameron Porsandeh is co-exec producing the series. Campbell is repped by CAA and KLWGN Entertainment.
Billy Campbell and Clea Duvall are set to co-star opposite Christina Ricci in Lifetime’s movie about one of the most famous murder trials in American history. Directed by Nick Gomez and produced by Sony Pictures Television, the film tells the story of Fall River, Mass., resident Lizzie Borden (Ricci), who finds herself on trial for the brutal axe murders of her father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and his second wife, Abby Durfee Gray Borden, at their family home. She was acquitted though no one else was ever charged with the crime, which has remained unsolved. Campbell will play Borden’s attorney, Andrew Jennings, while Gersh-repped Duvall will play her sister Emma. Judith Verno executive produces.
The Killing‘s Billy Campbell, whose character won’t be returning for Season 3, has quickly lined up another drama project. Campbell will co-star opposite Emma Roberts in Delirium, Fox‘s drama pilot from Karyn Usher, 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment. Based on Lauren Oliver’s bestselling book trilogy, it is set in a world where love is deemed illegal and can be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway (Roberts) does the unthinkable: she falls in love. Campbell will play wealthy political leader Thomas Fineman. With laser-white teeth and a John Boehner tan, he is the head of a lobbying organization called Deliria Free America who supports the use of the brain modification that prevents citizens from falling in love and leads to a peaceful, ordered society.
Billy Campbell, who plays troubled mayoral candidate Darren Richmond on AMC’s The Killing, is signing on for more killing. He has been set to play Abraham Lincoln in National Geographic Channel‘s Killing Lincoln, the two-hour docu-drama based on Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s book that chronicles the conspiracy behind Lincoln’s assassination. Scott Free Productions and Herzog & Co are producing the telefilm, which Erik Jendresen is showrunning and Adrian Moat (the same companies’ Emmy-nominated Gettysburg) is directing. Ridley and Tony Scott are executive producing along with O’Reilly, David Zucker, Mary Lisio, and Mark Herzog. The shoot is scheduled to begin this month in Richmond, VA. Campbell, who launched his career starring opposite Jennifer Connelly in 1991′s The Rocketeer, most recently was seen on the big screen in Matthew Lilard’s SXSW winner Fat Kid Rules The World.
UPDATE: Copperhead director Ron Maxwell took issue with some of the specifics of our story. He released the following statement from Canada on Wednesday: “It is truly regrettable when unnamed sources make spurious statements on subjects of which they know nothing. The assertion that Jason Patric was replaced on Copperhead because he would not take direction is completely false. Consummate professionals are replaced everyday, all the time, in all walks of life. It happens. Welcome to the real world. Jason is a total professional, a first rate actor and despite our creative differences, a friend.” Hold on, “creative differences?” Wasn’t that, specifics aside, what our story said?
PREVIOUS, Tuesday PM: Copperhead has a new lead actor. Billy Campbell will take over the lead in the Civil War-era feature after Jason Patric was let go this weekend. Copperhead was three weeks into shooting up in New Brunswick, Canada, when Patric was dismissed, Deadline has heard, for refusing to take instructions from director Ron Maxwell. Billy Campbell, who plays Darren Richmond on AMC’s The Killing, will now portray family head Amber Beech in the film, which is being produced by Swordspoint Productions. The feature is based on Harold Frederic’s 1883 novel about a family feud during the Civil War. Patric is repped by ICM. Campbell is repped by CAA and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Entertainment.