Following up on a positively reviewed debut playing Toni Braxton in the Lifetime biopic Unbreak My Heart, actress Lex Scott Davis has been snapped up by CBS for a TV adaptation of the 2001 feature film Training Day.
Davis will play Alyse Arrendondo, who Deadline describes as a smart and cynical history teacher, and wife of young, idealistic African-American cop Kyle Craig. When Craig earns a spot on an elite squad of the LAPD he is partnered with morally-ambiguous veteran Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton).
Davis is still relatively new to acting, having switched her interests from dancing to acting in her early 20s. She worked as a print model, television host, commercial actress, and an extra in films like Straight Outta’ Compton before landing the Lifetime role. BET included her on their list of “29 people you should know” for 2016.
Katrina Law (Arrow) has also been cast as Detective Rebecca Lee, an LAPD officer who was 4 when Rourke rescued her from human traffickers. She now looks up to him as a father-figure. Drew van Acker (Pretty Little Liars) will play another officer in the Special Investigations Section.
Antoine Fuqua, who directed the feature film, was slated to direct the pilot but after scheduling complications he handed over the role to Danny Cannon (Gotham). It was Fuqua’s idea to reimagine the film for television, updating it to the present day, and he remains as executive producer and creator of the series. He brought Jerry Bruckheimer TV and writer Will Beall (Castle) onto the project.
When the movie hit theaters it made headlines for the award-winning performances of Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The plot played on the real-life history of corruption and racial tension in the LAPD’s Rampart Division, with Washington cast as an amoral, arrogant narcotics cop teaching Hawke the ways of the street. It was the first really villainous role of Washington’s career, following high-profile turns in Courage Under Fire, Crimson Tide and The Pelican Brief, and seeing the beloved actor play against type created strong buzz and garnered the Best Acting Oscar for Washington and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Hawke.
For the TV series two versions of the pilot script were originally commissioned, one featuring Hawke’s character from the film as the older cop. He declined the role but there are still rumors he’ll show in a recurring or supporting part.