Discovery Channel has assembled their cast for their first foray into scripted programming and my oh my is it an impressive ensemble.
Weeks ago we reported that Academy Award winner Chris Cooper ('American Beauty,' 'Adaptation') had signed on as the lead in Discovery's upcoming miniseries 'Klondike.' Canadian journalist and novelist Charlotte Gray wrote the novel "Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike" which serves as the basis for Discovery Channel's adaptation. The upcoming miniseries tells the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike. Cooper signed on to play one of these strangers; today, the rest of the cast took shape around the feature actor, comprised somewhat of other talents of the silver screen.
Tim Roth ('Lie to Me'), an accomplished feature film actor in his own right, signed on along with Tim Blake Nelson ('Lincoln'). Both Roth and Nelson are stupendous character actors capable of transforming themselves for a role (as evidenced by Roth's turn as an anthropomorphic chimpanzee in Tim Burton's 'Planet of the Apes' and Nelson's Delmar in 'O Brother Where Art Thou?'). In 'Klondike,' Roth and Nelson will once again flex their supporting character muscle, with Roth appearing as The Count and Nelson playing a role known only as Meeker.
The primary actors for the youthful storyline of the miniseries were cast, as well. 'Klondike' follows childhood best friends Bill Haskell (to be played by 'Game of Thrones' Rochard Madden) and Byron Epstein (played by Augustus Prew) who head west in 1897 to seek their fortune in the Yukon Territories during the gold rush, where they face a harrowing journey of adventure, excitement and danger at every turn. Madden's stock has never been higher than this moment, as 'Game of Thrones' enters its third season. Madden has two feature films in the pre-production stage, based off the strength of his 'Game of Thrones' performance. Prew is less well-known, appearing in 'The Borgias' as well as the upcoming feature sequel 'Kick-Ass 2.' Together the fresh-faced actors bring sex appeal and youth to Discovery's project.
The train keeps rolling, reaching the female lead Belinda (cast as the lovely Abbie Cornish), the powerful eyes and ears of Dawson City who owns the mill and the loan shop and doesn’t think very highly of those seeking a fortune in gold. Cornish can be seen in the upcoming reboot 'RoboCop.' Rounding out the cast is Ian Hart (HBO's 'Luck') as Soapy Smith, an irrepressible Yukon con man and pick pocket, and young Johnny Simmons ('The Perks of Being a Wallflower') playing Jack London, a heavy drinker and adrenaline junkie who’s determined to write a shelf full of novels about his experiences.
Quite an assembled group for Discovery's first scripted project! What say you: will you be tuning in to check out 'Klondike?'