Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan's unparalleled ability to get movie stars for his Paramount+ shows continued into the new year on Thursday. His next series Lioness just booked Nicole Kidman for a lead role. The series also stars Zoe Saldana and Laysla De Oliveira.
Lioness is inspired by the real-life CIA program, the Lioness Engagement Team, which consists entirely of female spies. De Oliveira (Locke & Key) will star as the group's newest recruit, Cruz Manuelos, a passionate young Marine assigned to join the group's new mission to take down a terrorist organization from within. Saldana (Avatar: The Way of Water) was cast as Joe, the Lioness program's station chief who oversees the training and management of the operatives.
Kidman, 55, stars as Kaitlyn Meade, the CIA's senior supervisor with extensive experience playing politics. She has to balance being a high-ranking intelligence officer, a wife who longs for the attention she never receives at home, and a mentor. Kidman also serves as an executive producer through her Blossom Films production company.
Lioness has been in development for at least a year. News about the project first surfaced in January 2022. Saldana officially joined in February 2022, with Kidman attached only as an executive producer at the time. Saldana also signed on as an executive producer. Other EPs include Sheridan, David C. Glasser, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari, David Hutkin, Jill Wagner, Geyer Kosinski, Michael Malone, and John Hillcoat. The series is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios for Paramount+. The streamer has not announced a premiere date.
Kidman worked almost exclusively in movies for most of her Hollywood career until the 2010s when she started appearing in HBO projects. In 2017, she starred in Big Little Lies, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. She also won Outstanding Limited Series as an executive producer on the show. Her other recent TV shows include Top of the Lake, The Undoing, Nine Perfect Strangers, Roar, and the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series Expats. On the movie side, she recently starred in The Northman and will appear in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which will finally be released on Dec. 25, 2023.
Sheridan created Yellowstone with John Linson. He also created the Paramount+ shows Tulsa King and Mayor of Kingstown, and the Yellowstone prequels 1883 and 1923. His other upcoming Paramount+ projects are Bass Reeves with David Oyelowo and Land Man with Billy Bob Thornton.