After several months of development, the cast of CBS' new TV series Training Day is finally starting to come together. Deadline reports that Bill Paxton has signed on to play corrupt LAPD veteran detective Frank Rourke, who teams up with an idealistic young African-American detective. A report from earlier this month revealed that original Training Day star Ethan Hawke was being eyed to come back for the series as his character from the original movie, Jake Hoyt, but he is no longer involved with the project.
The TV series is reportedly set 15 years after the events of the movie, centering on a young African-American officer named Kyle, who is tasked by the Deputy Chief to go undercover within one of the LAPD's elite squads, in order to take down a crooked white detective, Frank Rourke. In order to gain the detective's trust, he is assigned to be his new partner. There were actually two different versions of the pilot script, written by Will Beall (Gangster Squad).
In the first version of the script, the corrupt detective is actually Jake Hoyt. This was written specifically to try and land Ethan Hawke, but the actor reportedly wasn't interested in playing a crooked version of Jake. A new version of the pilot was written, which was given the green light, and features a new character named Frank who is the crooked detective, while Hoyt has risen to Deputy Chief. The pilot episode reportedly addresses the fate of Denzel Washington's Alonzo Harris, who was killed at the end of the original movie.
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Bill Paxton's Frank Rourke is the head of LAPD's Special Investigation Unit, an elite team that goes after L.A.'s worst criminals. Frank believes that "real courage" is the will to chase criminals that other factions of law enforcement won't go after, and he isn't terribly pleased about babysitting a new detective. This report also reveals that the network has "moved away" from both versions of the pilot script, now that Ethan Hawke moved on, but it isn't known how much the story will change without the Jake Hoyt character involved.
Danny Cannon has been set to direct the pilot episode, after Antoine Fuqua, who directed the original Training Day, had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Antoine Fuqua will still serve as an executive producer on Training Day along with Will Beall, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed. Bill Paxton most recently starred on ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as John Garret and on the miniseries Texas Rising.