Shondaland is about to acquire one very new and impressive member. ABC announced earlier today that two-time Academy Award nominee Viola Davis has signed on to star in a Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers drama pilot, 'How to Get Away With Murder.' Sounds innocent enough, right? Hardly.
This sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller will center around a group of ambitious law students and their brilliant yet mysterious criminal defense professor, who all become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives.
Davis will take up the role of the law professor and renowned criminal defense attorney, Annalise DeWitt, who is described as being brilliant, passionate, creative, charismatic and ruthless in both the courtroom and the classroom. (Her Criminal Law 100 class is called "How to Get Away With Murder.")
The character is also said to be an excellent manipulator of people, particularly her law students — five of whom she selects to work with her at the firm. Though, given the fact that she's also secretly cheating on her psychology professor husband, it's probably safe to assume she has some rather intriguing skeletons in her closet.
But this isn't the actress's first trip to the small screen. She was previously on Showtime's 'United States of Tara,' NBC's 'Law & Order: SVU,' and 'City of Angels,' among others. She has also starred in huge blockbuster films such as 'The Help' and 'Doubt' — both of which earned her Oscar nominations. Suffice to say, this pilot just nabbed some serious A-list talent.
Grey's Anatomy' and 'Scandal's Peter Nowalk will pen the script, as well as executive produce alongside Rhimes and Beers. Michael Offer will direct the pilot.
Other cast members already added to the roster include 'Orange Is the New Black's Matt McGorry, Aja Naomi King, Alfred Enoch, Karla Souza, Jack Falahee and Charlie Weber.