The producers behind Fox’s Prodigal Son pilot have had a come-to-Jesus moment, tapping Walking Dead alum Tom Payne (R.I.P., Jesus) to replace Iron Fist‘s Finn Jones in the title role, TVLine has learned.
According to sources, the decision to recast was a creative one that was made following the pilot’s initial table read.
The potential series (from EP Greg Berlanti) centers on Malcolm Bright, now played by Payne, who is a criminal psychologist with specific insight into how murderers operate because his dad (played by Michael Sheen) is a notorious serial killer known as “The Surgeon.” Bellamy Young (Scandal) co-stars as Malcolm’s sarcastic and manipulative mother, Jessica.
In addition to using his forensic profiling skills to help the New York Police Department solve crimes, Payne’s Malcolm will deal with his sister, his parents and “his own constantly evolving neuroses,” per the project’s official logline. The cast also includes Lou Diamond Phillips (Longmire) and Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls).
Prodigal Son was poised to be Jones’ first major TV role since Netflix cancelled Iron Fist last October. Instead, it will be Payne’s first significant small-screen gig since getting killed off Walking Dead last November.