Renee Zellweger is a big name on the silver screen thanks to her roles in unforgettable films ranging from Jerry Maguire to Chicago to the Bridget Jones franchise, and she's not done with film yet despite feeling driven to leave starring movie roles behind for a time. Nevertheless, Netflix has nabbed Zellweger for a TV series from the creator of Revenge, and it already sounds intriguing. Here's what we know so far.
Revenge creator Mike Kelley is bringing a series to the small screen that could be unlike anything else on television, streaming or otherwise. He's on board as executive producer as well as showrunner and writer for the new project, called What/If. Renee Zellweger signed on for what will be her first starring role in a television series in her whole career, which is almost difficult to believe. The Academy Award-winner has such a long and accomplished career that it would have only seemed natural if she'd had a stint on TV at some point. What/If could prove that she waited for a truly unique project to make a temporary move out of film.
What/If will be a "social thriller" that explores what happens when "acceptable people start doing unacceptable things." The show will examine how one single choice can change the course of a person's entire life, perhaps in ways that can't be corrected in the long term. At first, the format for What/If sounds a bit like a real-world version of Lord of the Flies. As it happens, however, What/If is not being designed as a single-season series and it may not be based entirely on fictitious plots.
According to the series description, "each season" will handle a story inspired by source material that is consequential to modern culture. That's not to say that What/If will use "ripped from the headlines" stories a la Law & Order: SVU to drive the plots, and we can only guess about what kind of source material will be used at this point. The description also makes What/If sound more like an anthology series than an ongoing show, so we may not want to count on Renee Zellweger starring if it does indeed score an order for seasons beyond the first.
Netflix hasn't released details about Zellweger's character beyond the fact that her name is Anne, but the first season will see newlyweds considering an offer that could result in a big (and much-needed) payday that unfortunately isn't the most ethically respectable courtesy of a powerful woman. The show will run for ten episodes of one hour each. Joining Mike Kelley in an executive producing capacity will be Melissa Loy, Alex Gartner, Charles Roven, Robert Zemeckis, and Jack Rapke. On board as co-executive producer is Jackie Levine.
Netflix has not yet confirmed when What/If will begin production or debut on the streaming service, so we'll have to wait for more details of what's to come with Renee Zellweger's debut as a TV leading lady. For some streaming options while we wait, swing by our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule. If streaming isn't always your style, take a peek at our fall TV premiere guide.