Sharlto Copley and Michelle Forbes Playstation

Sharlto Copley has been tapped for the lead role in “Powers,” the PlayStation Network drama series based on Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming’s comic book series.

Copley will play Christian Walker, described as a dapper and charismatic character with a darkness and violence right at the surface but with a sense of buried integrity. Walker has the dissolute air of a faded rock star and the body of a battered heavyweight. Once possessed of super-powers, Walker lost those abilities in a battle with a super-human mass killer. A faded hero, he’s now a detective who works with law enforcement, using his singular expertise to investigate crimes in the Powers community.

Forbes will play Retro Girl, the undisputed super star of the Powers community. An icon of justice, selflessness, and business acumen, she has a cool, hard exterior with a fire right below the surface. Her willingness to put herself at risk for the good of others is matched only by her ability to manage her globe-spanning personal brand.

Eddie Izzard, Noah Taylor, Susan Heyward, Olesya Rulin, Max Fowler and Adam Godley also star in the series, which marks PlayStation Network’s first foray into scripted programming. David Slade is set to direct the first two episodes of “Powers,” which are penned by Charlie Huston.

Sony’s push into original programming comes as the company attempts to reposition its PlayStation console (including upcoming PlayStation 4) as an entertainment hub that could appeal to consumers outside the gaming sphere. PlayStation consoles already provide access to Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services for users, but Sony now looks to compete with those providers as it develops its own over-the-top pay-TV service.

Meanwhile, Sony rival Microsoft is launching digital series “Halo: Nightfall”, produced by Ridley Scott, but the company is closing Xbox Entertainment Studios and backing away from its aggressive push into original series.

Copley is currently shooting “The Hollars,” and will be seen in the upcoming films “Chappie” and “Hardcore.” He most recently appeared in “Maleficent,” and starred in “Elysium” alongside Matt Damon. He is repped by WME. Forbes is repped by UTA.

“Powers” was published by Image Comics from 2000-2004 before the series moved to Marvel’s Icon imprint. The 10-episode project hails from Sony Pictures Television.

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