Maria Bello will co-star opposite Billy Bob Thornton in Amazon Studios’ series “Trial,” Variety has learned. The legal drama hails from from David E. Kelley, creator of “The Practice,” “Boston Legal” and “Ally McBeal.”
Bello will play attorney Julie McBride, the ex-wife to Thornton’s character Billy McBride, a once-respectable lawyer who was ousted from the high-profile firm he co-founded.
Beautiful, brilliant, accomplished, Julie is successful in her career — she is a co-founding partner at a firm — but her personal life is lacking, as she lost the great love of her life, Billy, and holds him in some contempt for allowing him to derail his life.
Bello also joins William Hurt, who will play Billy McBride’s ex-partner at the firm, plus Olivia Thirlby, who was cast as Lucy Kittridge, a whip-smart, high-powered attorney who’s brilliant but not as seasoned as she pretends to be. Julie (Bello) is the boss to Lucy (Thirlby) and treats the up-and-comer as her protege, so she is horrified when she is fired from the firm and turns against her.
“Trial” follows Billy (Thornton), who, after much success as an attorney, now spends his days getting drunk. His professional life is turned upside down when a young lawyer who has just been fired from his old firm brings him a wrongful death case that pits him against the head of his former firm.
Kelley co-wrote the pilot with Jonathan Shapiro, who was a producer on “The Practice” and “Boston Legal.” Both Kelley and Shapiro will exec produce “Trial.”The series, which is expected to run 10 episodes, will mark Amazon’s first-ever straight-to-series order. The streaming service usually allows audiences to view pilots and provide feedback on which projects should be picked up.
Bello is repped by CAA.