Amazon Studios has added yet another impressive actor to Trial, its upcoming legal drama from David E. Kelley. William Hurt has signed on, joining a cast that includes Billy Bob Thornton and Olivia Thirlby, reports Variety.
The series will follow a fallen attorney, Billy McBride (Thornton), who whiles his days away drinking after losing his job at the firm he co-founded. He finds new purpose when a young lawyer — recently fired from his old firm — brings him a wrongful death case. Adding to the drama, the case will have Billy facing off against Attorney Donald Cooper (Hurt), who just so happens to be the man in charge at Billy’s former firm.
For Hurt, Trial joins an already long list of credits that encompasses numerous high-profile projects. The Academy Award-nominated actor’s long career includes movie roles ranging from Jane Eyre to Into the Wild to the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. Most recently, he appeared on the sci-fi TV series Humans, which wrapped up its first season this month, and he’ll also star in Beowulf, an upcoming British epic fantasy drama series.
Trial seems promising, not just because of its cast, but also because of its creator. Kelley has been the creative mind behind several hit series over the years, including the legal dramas Ally McBeal, Boson Legal, and The Practice. Clearly his law degree has paid off over the years, even though he works in Hollywood instead of a courtroom.
Kelley will executive produce with Jonathan Shapiro. The duo previously worked together on The Practice and Boston Legal, as Shapiro was a producer on the series. They also teamed up to co-write Trial‘s pilot.
It’s not surprising that Amazon felt confident enough in Trial to give it a straight-to-series order — a first for the studio. Following their usual procedure of having an audience view the pilot and weigh in would likely have told them what they already know: Trial‘s bound to be good.