Film icon Dennis Hopper has been set to star in Crash, the first original drama series from Starz Entertainment, based on the Academy Award-winning Best Picture. The 13-episode one-hour series, co-produced with Lionsgate, has begun production in Albuquerque, N.M., with additional filming to take place in and around Los Angeles, Calif. Sanford Bookstaver (Jericho, Bones, The O.C.) will direct the premiere episode of the drama, which will debut on Starz in October. The announcement was made jointly today by Stephan Shelanski, Starz Entertainment's executive vice president programming, and Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate's president of programming and production.
The cast includes film and television veteran Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet, 24) as "Ben," a veteran, maverick music producer looking for his last big score; Clare Carey (Jericho) as "Christine," a frustrated Brentwood mom, married to a successful pre-bust real estate developer; Luis Chavez ("Ocean's Thirteen" "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as "Cesar," a poor immigrant who embarks on a brutal journey to America; Ross McCall (Band of Brothers, CSI: NY) plays "Kenny," a cop more interested in joyriding than paperwork; Jocko Sims ("Dreamgirls" CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) is "Anthony," Ben's driver; Brian Tee (Grey's Anatomy, Zoey 101) portrays "Eddie," a Korean-American immigrant who works as an EMT; and Arlene Tur (Grey's Anatomy) is "Bebe," a former actress who becomes a police officer. Additional cast will be announced soon.
Headed by executive producer Glen Mazzara (The Shield), the creative team includes executive producers Paul Haggis, Bob Yari and Bobby Moresco, and co-executive producers Don Cheadle, Tom Nunan, Mark Harris, Jorg Westerkamp and Thomas Becker, all of whom were key members of the Oscar-winning theatrical production team. Writers joining Mazzara for the series are co-executive producers Frank Renzulli (The Sopranos) and Ted Mann (Deadwood, Miami Vice); producer Stacy Rukeyser (One Tree Hill, Without a Trace); and executive story editors Chris Collins (The Wire) and Randy Huggins (The Shield). John B. Moranville (Drive) is line producer.
Set in Los Angeles, the series will continue to focus on an ensemble cast of characters. It will explore the complexities of social tolerance in contemporary America by digging into the meaning of what it takes to reach the American dream. Characters will intertwine and crash into each other, coming face to face with the daily hurdles and obstacles that threaten to get in the way of achieving that dream.
Starz Media's Anchor Bay Entertainment will hold exclusive U.S. distribution rights, including home entertainment, to the Crash series, while Lionsgate will retain international distribution.