J.K. Simmons to Star in Espionage Thriller ‘Counterpart’ for Starz

“Whiplash” actor will portray a lowly cog in a bureaucratic UN agency

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J.K. Simmons is getting into the spy game with Starz.

Simmons, who took home an Oscar for “Whiplash” this year, has been tapped to star in the upcoming espionage thriller “Counterpart” for Starz.

The series, which is created and written by Justin Marks (“The Jungle Book”), follows Howard Silk (Simmons), a lowly cog in a bureaucratic UN agency. Silk is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret when he discovers the agency he works for is guarding a secret: the crossing to a parallel dimension. The show will navigate themes of identity, idealism, what-ifs and lost love.

Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) is set to direct the first two episodes of the series.

“Counterpart” is the third co-production between Starz and MRC, the first being the Patrick Stewart comedy “Blunt Talk.” The second collaboration, “The One Percent,” has not yet begun production but will star Ed Helms and Hillary Swank.

Marks and Tyldum will executive produce “Counterpart,” along with Bard Dorros and Keith Redmon of Anonymous Content, and Jordan Horowitz and Gary Gilbert of Gilbert Films.

CAA represents Marks.