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The latest spinoff from Dick Wolf's non-Chicago TV universe, Law & Order: True Crime - The Menendez Murders has found one-half of its titular pair of brothers. For the upcoming series depicting the infamous trial of two men following the brutal murder of their parents, NBC and producers have tapped the young but quickly rising star Gus Halper (Power) to play Erik Menendez.
Having popped up just last year on Chicago P.D., Gus Halper will play the younger of the two Menendez brothers, who were convicted of murdering their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion in 1989. Halper's real life counterpart, Erik Menendez, went on a spending spree with his brother in the immediate aftermath of the parents' murders, which eventually raised the eyebrows of investigators who had not previously suspected the siblings in the crime. The two brothers were eventually charged with life in prison in 1996 after the high-profile court case that the new project will focus on. TVLine's report about Halper is the second bit of casting to come from Law & Order: True Crime - The Menendez Murders, with the first being TV veteran Edie Falco signing on as attorney Leslie Abramson.
Gus Halper joins Law & Order: True Crime - The Menendez Murders with television credits that include Mercy Street and the aforementioned appearance on Chicago P.D. Halper was also featured in the Ben Schnetzer and Nick Jonas-led fraternity film Goat, and the actor's biggest television roles up to this point were on the two cable series: Starz' Power, where he played Alby, and TNT's 2015 series Public Morals, where he played Sergio Tedesco. While playing a then-suspected killer could be a challenge for Halper, perhaps even bigger will be the inevitable comparison between him and the other actor set to play Erik Menendez soon.
Law & Order: True Crime - The Menendez Murders is one of two series currently in development that are based off the Menendez brothers' story. Lifetime is in the process of developing a television movie that puts former Glee actor Myko Olivier in the role of Erik Menendez. If we're going off looks alone, Gus Halper looks more like Menendez than Olivier, although both men have very similar features. I'm not trying to play favorites here, but if I had to pick which actor would strike me more as a convicted killer, I'm going to have to say Halper has more of a natural angry look.
We'll have to wait to see who's better, though, since neither project has a release date as of yet. As more casting details for Law & Order: True Crime- The Menendez Murders come in, we'll be sure to keep you in the loop. Since we're still unsure of when this show will premiere, you've got some time to kill, so be sure to visit our midseason premiere guide and summer premiere schedule to find plenty of shows to busy yourself with in the meantime.