As a nation, the U.S. is much more inclined to understand what’s happening in a galaxy far, far away than we are about the financial world that serves as the country’s backbone. The upcoming Showtime project Billions aims to give audiences the inside baseball approach to high finance, and the show is bringing in Sons of Anarchy alum Maggie Siff to help tell this big dollar tale.
Siff is joining powerhouse actors Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis for Billions, which is currently gearing up towards its pilot production. The basic plot will center on the cataclysmic headbutting between the brainy and ballsy U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and the hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Lewis), who appears to have ambition running through his bloodstream. The prospect of these guys firing verbal shots at one another is quite appealing.
According to THR, Siff enters the story as Chuck’s wife Wendy Rhoades. She graduated from her medical class with top honors – which is at least somewhat similar to her Sons of Anarchy role – and she’s trained as a psychiatrist. However, she’s currently working as a performance coach whose popularity is boundless, as she has built her career working with some of the most powerful players in the financial world. It’s good to see that a show taking place in such a male-dominated world has lined up a solid lead female role, especially one whose angle is predominantly mental.
Billions is written and executive produced Andrew Ross Sorkin (Squawk Box) and by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the duo who co-wrote features like Ocean’s Eleven, Runner Runner and Rounders. All three movies are about the hunt for money in different ways, so maybe they’re the perfect guys to tell this story. For its director, the pilot has landed Neil Burger, best known for his work on The Illusionist and Divergent, in as much as anyone can be best known for Divergent.
Siff is clearly comfortable on TV, starring for six seasons in FX’s violence-driven Sons of Anarchy. She’s previously had recurring roles on Mad Men, the short-lived Life on Mars and Nip/Tuck. On the feature side of things, she’s probably best known for roles in Leaves of Grass and Push, and she’s got J. Blakeson’s sci-fi YA adaptation The Fifth Wave coming up next year, alongside Chloe Moretz and Live Schreiber.
We’re not quite sure how much money to invest in Billions getting ordered to series, but this is precisely the kind of cast that usually gets things locked down. The pilot is scheduled to begin production in New York in early 2015, so I guess we’ll have a better idea of the project’s fate in six months or so. Who will be the next to join?