Four days after casting “Iron Fist” star Finn Jones, Fox has had second thoughts, replacing him with “Walking Dead” alum Tom Payne.
The change came about as a result of creative differences after the table read, according to an individual with knowledge of the production. The role was supposed to be Jones’ first since the end of his Netflix/Marvel TV series.
Now it will be Payne who will play Malcolm Bright. Intelligent but deeply damaged, Malcolm has a self-deprecating sense of humor and a surprising level of compassion. The son of a notorious serial killer, Malcolm fearlessly uses his razor-sharp instincts as a forensic profiler with the NYPD, where he often angers his co-workers.
Payne joins a cast that includes Michael Sheen, Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau and Frank Harts.
Here’s the official description for the pilot: Malcolm Bright … has a gift. He knows how killers think, how their minds work. Why? His father (Sheen) was one of the worst — a notorious serial killer called “The Surgeon.” That’s why Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. He will use his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers, all while dealing with a manipulative mother, annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son, and his own constantly evolving neuroses. “Prodigal Son” is a fresh take on a crime franchise with a provocative and outrageous lead character and darkly comedic tone.
Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver will write and executive produce, with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter also executive producing. Lee Toland Krieger will direct and also grab an EP credit. “Prodigal Son” hails from Warner Bros. Television, where Berlanti has an overall deal and is a co-production with Fox Entertainment.
Payne is coming off his recurring role on “The Walking Dead” as Jesus.