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Ellen Barkin & Scott Speedman to Star in TNT’s ‘Animal Kingdom’

Ellen Barkin and Scott Speedman have been cast in TNT’s upcoming drama pilot “Animal Kingdom,” Variety has learned.

The story follows 17-year-old Joshua “J” Cody, who moves in with his wild, freewheeling relatives. As he is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess, he discovers it is being funded by criminal activities.

Barkin plays Janine “Smurf” Cody. A working-class mom with what appears to be a picket-fence lifestyle, she is actually the boot-tough matriarch of an organized crime family. Smurf has enough authority to make even the most dangerous men tremble in her presence. Speedman plays Barry “Baz” Brown, who was adopted by the Cody family when he was 12. He now leads the group in their armed robberies, but he also thinks of breaking away from a life of crime.

Animal Kingdom” hails from John Wells Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television and is based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name (Jacki Weaver played Smurf and Joel Edgerton played Baz in that version). The pilot, which was written by Jonathan Lisco, will begin shooting next month in Los Angeles. It was previously developed in 2012 at Showtime. Exec producers are Wells, Lisco, Andrew Stearn, David Michod and Liz Watts.

Barkin is represented by CAA, Untitled and Jackie Eckhouse at Sloss Eckhouse. Speedman is repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion.

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