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With social commentary arguably at an all-time high on social media, incidents like the NFL’s handling of Ray Rice’s domestic abuse create a never-ending stream of individuals assuring the world that their way of dealing with things would have been the perfect way. As such, the upcoming NBC miniseries The Slap is the rare narrative project that can potentially provoke the same kind of Internet discussions, since it involves a physical act between an adult and a child. We now know who the aggressor in this story will be, as Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) has signed on as one of the leads, with the Emmy-winning Brian Cox (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) also landing a major role. Get ready for some awkward conversations.
Based on the acclaimed 2011 Australian series of the same name, The Slap centers on the aftermath of the seemingly innocuous titular event, with consequences that reach far and wide. Quinto plays Harry, a mechanic and European car dealer living with his wife and 15-year-old son in Brooklyn. Harry is the kind of guy who always wants to get into a tussle, and he chooses the wrong person to mess with when he slaps another family’s horribly misbehaving son while at a party. According to Deadline, Cox will star as Manolis, the bearded patriarch of the family.
This incident, which is set off in Australian author Christos Tsiolkas’ 2008 novel by the other child antagonizing Harry’s son, tears Harry’s family apart, unearthing long-hidden secrets. As well, the violent reaction incites a lawsuit “that challenges the core American values of all who are pulled into it.” Sounds pretty serious. Drink every time someone says, “But the kid deserved it!”
Quinto and Cox join the already cast Peter Sarsgaard, who will play Harry’s cousin Hector, whose own distasteful behavior involves hitting on his wife’s receptionist, who also happens to be a teenager. Mary Louise Parker also stars as Hector’s friend Anouk, who is dating the lead actor in a TV series that she writes for. The Slap’s Americanized take was written completely by John Robin Baitz (Brothers and Sisters). The Kids are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko will take the helm for the first two episodes.
Quinto’s got a handful of interesting projects coming up, including the video game adaptation Hitman: Agent 47, Justin Kelly’s gay Christian drama Michael, and Tom Sierchio’s romantic drama The Girl Who Invented Kissing. Cox, meanwhile, is just as busy, with an upcoming slate including Alfonso Pineda Ulloa’s crime thriller The Jesuit, Jon Cassar’s western Forsaken and the high concept alien invasion comedy Pixels.
We can possibly expect to see The Slap enter NBC’s midseason lineup, so look out for more casting in the coming days. Or should I say watch out for more casting.