HBO Max is boosting its lineup of genre television with the help of the legendary Ridley Scott for a TV offering called Raised by Wolves. Originally slated for TNT, the series has moved to HBO Max, which is set to launch in Spring 2020. The 10-episode series recently wrapped shooting. No release date has been set.
The show is the creation of Aaron Guzikowski, writer of director Denis Villeneuve’s acclaimed Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal crime drama, Prisoners, Jason Momoa TV series The Red Road and the Rami Malek-starring remake of Papillon. Indeed, Guzikowski will serve as writer, executive producer and showrunner. Scott serves as an executive producer via Scott Free alongside David W. Zucker, Jordan Sheehan, and Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger.
Raised by Wolves will take place on a mysterious planet – virgin territory to humans – that’s in the early stages of colonization. However, the series will center on a pair of androids who are raising human children on the the burgeoning human home, living amongst colonists who clearly haven’t left their ideological baggage back on Earth, since they are being torn apart by religious differences. Consequently, the androids find themselves existing tenuously in the middle.
Raised by Wolves Cast
Matias Varela is the latest addition to the Raised by Wolves cast, set to join as a series regular, reports Deadline. He will play Lucius, described as “a loyal soldier, who is trying to make up for the perceived failings of his father, a man whose sense of kindness and mercy were his ultimate undoing. Lucius is so committed to reversing his father’s legacy, that he devotes himself to serving the very man who executed him, a man he believes may be a savior to his people.” The Stockholm-born actor fielded a 2017 run on Netflix’s Narcos, having appeared in films such as Assassin’s Creed, Point Break and The Borgias after starting in films and TV shows in his native Sweden.
Travis Fimmel is set to star on Raised by Wolves, as reported by Deadline. Fimmel will play Marcus, “a roguish, charismatic soldier, who was the ultimate survivor back on Earth. To escape the doomed planet, Marcus and his wife Sue made a dangerous decision that they must keep secret at all costs. But now that they’ve arrived in the new world, Marcus is struggling to reconcile the sins of his past, even as he continues to embrace the killer instincts that always kept him alive in the first place.”
The Aussie actor, Fimmel, starred on History’s Vikings as protagonist Ragnar Lothbrok until a Season 4 shocker saw the character’s demise. After starring in the video game movie, Warcraft: The Beginning, he’s since been seen in films such as drama Lean on Pete and crime thriller Finding Steve McQueen. His pre-Vikings CV includes a co-starring run – opposite the late Patrick Swayze – on A&E’s The Beast and, years earlier, starring on The WB’s Tarzan.
The rest of the cast was announced in January, consisting of the following:
Amanda Collin (A Conspiracy of Faith, A Horrible Woman) as Mother, “an android with a secret past who has been programmed to raise a brood of human children on a faraway planet. In addition to teaching her children to survive, Mother must also keep them from believing in the unreal; to ensure this virgin planet isn’t torn apart by the same religious differences that lead the Earth to its ultimate destruction. Mother hopes her family will serve as the nucleus for a peaceful, technocratic colony — a new beginning for humanity. But as she struggles to mold these growing humans, she also begins uncovering secrets hidden within her own programming, secrets that could help her protect her family, but could just as easily destroy them.”
Abubakar Salim (Fortitude, Jamestown) will play Father, “an android whose devotion to his human children is matched only by his devotion to Mother. Father is a considerably less complex model than Mother, but thanks to his wisdom and patience, he is no less important to the family’s survival. Like many human fathers, Father wants to be funny — especially in the eyes of Mother — but it’s a skill he often struggles with. What he is good at is always being there when you need him.”
Winta McGrath (Aloft, Red Dog: True Blue) will play Campion, “a scrappy and soulful 12-year-old boy who was raised by Mother and Father since birth. When a ship of humans arrives from Earth, Campion is exposed to followers of religion for the first time in his life, and starts to question whether his android parents really know what’s best for him.”
Niamh Algar (The Virtues, Calm With Horses) is on board as Sue, “a strong, resourceful combat medic who put aside her reservations about coming to this new planet at the urging of her husband Marcus. But as the planet’s mysteries and dangers threaten to upend the promise of a new life, Sue questions whether they have compromised too much in the name of survival.”
Felix Jamieson (Game of Thrones, The Ghost) will play 12-year-old Paul, Sue and Marcus’ son and “a boy of unshakable faith in both his religion and his father. Having always felt like an outsider back on Earth, Paul strikes up a complicated friendship — and rivalry — with Campion. Though the two young men begin to learn from one another, they also begin to challenge one another.”
Ethan Hazzard (The Long Song, Damned) will play the “highly intelligent” 17-year-old Hunter. According to the official description: “His father was a high-ranking member of a powerful religious order back on Earth. But now that the hierarchy he once sat atop no longer exists, Hunter must learn what it’s like to be just like everybody else.”
Jordan Loughran (The Infiltrator, Emerald City) will play 17-year-old Tempest, officially described as: “Raised with a religion she never really believed in, she sees Mother and Father as superior to the human guardians who so often let her down. Soon after arriving in the new world, Tempest discovers she is pregnant; the result of a rape she suffered at the hands of a high-ranking member of her church.”
Rounding out the cast is Aasiya Shah (Call the Midwife, Unforgotten) as 15-year-old Holly, “a burgeoning warrior who is trying to find her place in this strange new world” and Ivy Wong (Star Wars: Rogue One, Maleficent 2) as 9-year-old Vita, “the youngest member of the family, but also the most fearless.”
Raised By Wolves Director
Interestingly, Scott will not only serve as executive producer, but will also occupy the director’s chair for Raised by Wolves for the first two episodes. This aspect marks a monumental occasion, since it will be the first time that the iconic, template-setting helmer of Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Prometheus and The Martian directs for television. As Scott explained in the project’s October 2017 statement:
“I’m always searching for new frontiers in the sci-fi genre and have found a true original in Raised by Wolves – a wholly distinct and imaginative world, full of characters struggling with existential questions: What makes us human? What constitutes a family? And what if we could start over again and erase the mess we’ve made of our planet? Would we survive? Would we do better?” He adds, “Given TNT’s impressive run of bold, quality programming, this feels like exactly the right home for this kind of ambitious television.”
Sarah Aubrey, executive vice president of original programming for TNT, hints female attributes among the android characters, expressing in a statement:
“Ridley Scott is simply the best there is in the sci-fi genre. Besides directing some of the most important sci-fi films of all-time, Ridley has created iconic characters from Alien’s Ripley to Prometheus’ Elizabeth Shaw. We’re thrilled to have Ridley do the same for us as we look forward to his vision of Aaron’s complex and futuristic Mother. It’s incredibly rare to be able to make television that both challenges one’s intellect and also thrills the excited fangirl side—Raised by Wolves is that rare show that does both.”
We’ll keep you updated on Raised by Wolves as the news arrives!