Hunt joins previously announced series lead Jasmine Cephas Jones, who is reprising the role of Ashley from the film on which the series is based. Variety exclusively reported yesterday that Benjamin Earl Turner, Atticus Woodward, Jaylen Barron, and Candace Nicholas-Lippman will also star in the eight-episode, half-hour dramedy.
“Blindspotting” centers on Ashley (Cephas Jones) who is nipping at the heels of a middle class life in Oakland until her partner Miles (Rafael Casal) is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she is forced to move in with Miles’ mother Rainey (Hunt).
Rainey is described as a woman who has strong opinions and holds family above all else.
“It is such an honor to have Helen Hunt in this series,” Casal said. “We became friends after she tweeted about her love of the film and we have long looked for a project to do together. She has been our first choice for the character Rainey since we dreamed this show up.”
Hunt is an award-winning star in both film and television. She won the Best Actress Oscar in 1998 for her role in “As Good as It Gets” and was nominated in the best supporting actress category in 2013 for “The Sessions.” She is also a four-time Emmy winner from her time on the critically-acclaimed sitcom “Mad About You.” She is also a four-time Golden Globe winner — three for “Mad About You” and another for “As Good as It Gets.” Hunt’s other notable film roles include “Twister,” “Bobby,” “What Women Want,” and “Cast Away.” On the TV side, she has starred in shows like “Empire Falls,” “World on Fire,” and “Shots Fired.”
The writers, producers, and stars of the film on which the series is based, Daveed Diggs and Casal, will also write and executive produce the series. Casal will serve as showrunner in addition to reprising the role of Miles in a recurring capacity. He will also direct an episode of the show. Jones will serve as producer in addition to starring.
Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment, who produced the film, will also executive produce the series along with Emily Gerson Saines, Ken Lee, and Tim Palen of Barnyard Projects. Palen previously served as Lionsgate’s chief brand officer and head of worldwide theatrical marketing for over 15 years. Seith Mann will executive produce and direct the first two episodes.
Lionsgate Television will produce, with Lionsgate also having produced the film. Starz’ senior vice president of original programming Kathryn Tyus-Adair is the executive overseeing “Blindspotting” on behalf of the network. Maggie Leung is the executive overseeing the series on behalf of Lionsgate.