Brooding vampire James will be back on True Blood next season, but the actor who plays him, Luke Grimes, won’t. The role will be recast. Ever since production on Fifty Shades Of Grey was pushed by a month to December 2, there had been concern whether Grimes — who was cast as Christian Grey’s brother Eliott in the movie — would be able to do True Blood, which starts production on its seventh and final season in January. True Blood showrunner Brian Buckner had big plans for James, which was introduced in Season 6 as a vampire whom Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) met while she was locked up at Governor Burrell’s camp. Grimes was promoted to regular heading into Season 7, and Buckner in August told EW that Season 6 had only “scratched the surface” of what Grimes can do as an actor. According to TV Line, which broke the news of Grimes’ exit, the actor asked to be let out of his contract after reading Season 7 scripts and being disappointed by the direction James was taking away from Jessica. “Luke Grimes will not be returning as James in True Blood,” HBO said. “The role of James is being recast due to the creative direction of the character.”
Luke Grimes will play Christian Grey’s adopted brother Elliot in Fifty Shades Of Grey. This comes after Jamie Dornan was set in the male lead role alongside Dakota Johnson. He plays James on True Blood and is repped by CAA and Global Creative. Sam Taylor-Johnson is directing and Kelly Marcel adapted the EL James book. Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti are producing.
The Killing alum Eric Ladin is set to play young J. Edgar Hoover on HBO‘s Boardwalk Empire. Ladin, repped by Innovative and Main Title, has joined the cast of the period mob drama as a recurring. This is Ladin’s second recurring gig on an HBO series; he also had a role on Big Love as Chloë Sevigny’s doctor.
In another recurring HBO casting, Brothers & Sisters alum Luke Grimes will film five episodes of the upcoming sixth season of True Blood. I hear he would be upped to a regular if the vampire drama is renewed for a seventh season. Grimes, repped by CAA, manager Darren Goldberg, and attorney Dave Feldman, will play Wes, a 27-year-old, sexy, spiritual, compassionate, intelligent, protective, deeply emotional, and guitar-playing vampire who was turned in the ‘70s. He next stars with Amber Heard in Weinstein Co’s recent acquisition All The Boys Love Mandy Lane.
FX’s pilot Outlaw Country is undergoing a retooling. The original script, written by Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz, has been given a rewrite by Goldin, Abramowitz and Outlaw Country‘s executive producer/co-showrunner David Manson. There will be substantial reshoots, which will be directed by actor-helmer Adam Arkin. Arkin is stepping in for the original pilot’s director Michael Dinner, who would’ve done the reshoots had he not been busy with another FX pilot he is directing, Powers. There won’t be major recastings on the project, a crime thriller/family drama set against the backdrop of Southern organized crime and Nashville royalty that stars Luke Grimes, Haley Bennett, Mary Steenburgen and John Hawkes. I hear a couple of small new roles have been added and another small part, played in the original pilot by Lisa Blount, will be recast following the actress’ death.
Getting Outlaw Country off the ground has been a long and arduous process. FX greenlighted the project to pilot last April and filmed the pilot last fall. The network has showed faith in the drama — FX president John Landgraf recently listed Outlaw Country, along with Powers, as candidates for a series launch in the winter. Also proving FX’s commitment to the Nashville-set Outlaw Country is its major additional investment in the project in the form of a rewrite and extensive reshoots. In addition to getting paid for the new pilot, the cast also have had their options extended …
EXCLUSIVE: Luke Grimes and Haley Bennett have landed the younger leads on the FX drama pilot Outlaw Country, joining previously cast Mary Steenburgen. Additionally, Michael Dinner has come on board to direct the pilot, a crime thriller/family drama set against the backdrop of southern organized crime and Nashville royalty. Grimes (Brothers & Sistsers) will play twentysomething Eli Larkin, a half-cowboy, half-modern guy who tries to get out of the crime ridden life he has grown accustom to in order to help his siblings, however he finds out that it is much harder than he expected. Bennett (Marley & Me) will play twentysomething Annabel Lee, a gorgeous country singer who is living in the shadow of her overprotective mother (Steenburgen).
Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz wrote the Fox TV Studios/FX Prods.-produced Outlaw Country and are executive producing/co-showrunning with David Manson. Art Linson and John Linson also executive produce. Shooter Jennings serves as executive consultant and music supervisor. CAA-repped Dinner, who recently inked a new overall deal with Sony TV, also directed the pilot for the FX’s Justified and serves as an executive producer on the Sony-produced series. Additionally, he co-directed with Allen Coulter the pilot for another FX series, Sons of Anarchy. Grimes is with IFA and Global Creative.