Stoltz to change into scrubs for CBS’ ‘Hope’

Made-for pact in the works

Eric Stoltz (“2 Days in the Valley,” “Grace of My Heart”) has joined the cast of the CBS drama “Chicago Hope,” and he also has inked a deal to star in a TV movie for the Eye web.

Stoltz, who joins the drama in its fifth season, will play an enigmatic surgeon whose background in eastern medicine and philosophy runs counter to the hospital’s more technical-minded professionals. His character will be introduced in the third episode, and Stoltz has signed on for a full season.

Executive producer John Tinker said, “If CBS lets us do it, he’s going to be unlike any other character on the show. This guy’s philosophy and what he does without other peoples’ knowledge can have an impact.”

Tinker adds that viewers will have to decide whether Stoltz’s character is “a good guy or a bad guy,” because he will be more gray than any other character on the show; an episode involving euthanasia may be in the works.

“The other characters will have to re-examine their philosophies and moral stances. He won’t necessarily burst onto the scene, but will creep in slowly and insidiously,” Tinker said.

“Chicago Hope” will be Stoltz’s first TV series. The veteran indie film actor began his career starring as Rocky Dennis in “Mask.” He later starred in and produced such films as “Mr. Jealousy,” “Sleep With Me” and “Bodies, Rest and Motion.” He also co-starred in “Anaconda,” “Little Women,” “Pulp Fiction” and the 1992 Sundance Film Festival winner “The Waterdance.”

Later this year, he’ll appear in “Hi Life” and the Showtime production “The Passion of Ayn Rand.”

“Chicago Hope” was created by David E. Kelley and is executive produced by Tinker and Bill D’Elia at 20th Century Fox TV.

Stoltz is repped by manager Helen Sugland and CAA.

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