Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo Cast in Syfy Space Opera ‘The Expanse’

Ten episodes based on the international best-selling book series will premiere in 2015

Getty Images

“Magic City” star Steven Strait and Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo will star in Syfy’s “The Expanse,” a new 10-episode space opera premiering next year and based on the international best-selling book series.

Strait plays Holden, an officer on the ice-carrying freighter the Canterbury. Though a natural leader, he’s not sure he wants responsibility. He’s soon forced to lead when he’s drawn into a dangerous plot.

Also read: Syfy Exec by Day, Playwright by Night: From ‘Sharknado’ to an Ayn Rand Orgy

Aghdashloo plays Chrisjen Avasarala, part of a political family who has risen high in the ranks of Earth’s leaders without ever standing for election. The “24” actress won an Emmy for 2008’s “House of Saddam” and was nominated for an Oscar for “House of Sand and Fog.”

Syfy and Alcon TV previously announced that Thomas Jane (“Hung”) also will star as the world-weary Detective Miller. The thriller, set 200 years from now, follows the case of a missing young woman who unites Holden and Miller.

“Steven and Shohreh are both outstanding talents who we feel lucky to have in our series,” said Bill McGoldrick, executive vice president of original content for Syfy.

“We knew this material would attract high-end talent,” said Sharon Hall, president of Alcon Television. “Steven Strait embodies the humor, gravitas and humanity that the character of James Holden possesses. Having him alongside Thomas Jane as our leading men is thrilling. The incomparable Shohreh Aghdashloo is our dream Chrisjen Avasarala.”

Also read: ‘Hung’ Star Thomas Jane Cast as Lead on Syfy’s ‘Expanse’

Award-winning director Terry McDonough (“Breaking Bad”) will direct the first two episodes.

The Academy Award-nominated screenwriting duo of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (“Children of Men”) wrote the pilot and will continue to serve as writers as well as executive producers. They will run the show alongside fellow executive producer Naren Shankar (“CSI,” “Farscape”).

The series is produced by Alcon Television Group, a division of Alcon Entertainment, and is the company’s first series order. Alcon co-founders and CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will executive produce with Hall. Alcon’s Ben Roberts will serve as co-producer, and Ben Cook will serve as producer. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of the Sean Daniel Company developed the original pitch, with Fergus and Ostby, and also will executive produce.

The best-selling book series is written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck under the pen name James S. A. Corey, who will be producers.

Aghdashloo is represented by Tamara Houston of Round Table Entertainment while Strait is represented by Chris Huvane and Lainie Sorkin Becky of Management 360.