LEVERAGE originally ran for five seasons, 2008-2012. Dean Devlin executive produced the series, which concerned a group of con artists who teamed up to trick rich and powerful villains into, one way or another, paying what they owed to those who had been wronged.
Now it has been announced that LEVERAGE is being revived as LEVERAGE 2.0 by IMDB TV (a subsidiary of Amazon) as one of that streaming network’s first original scripted series. Devlin is once again executive producing through his Electric Entertainment studio, and original cast members Gina Bellman (actress Sophie Devereaux), Christian Kane (fighter Eliot Spencer), and Beth Riesgraf (burglar Parker) will be returning to their roles full-time. Fellow original actor Aldis Hodge (tech specialist Alec Hardison) will appear in a recurring capacity, due to scheduling conflicts with the second season of Showtime’s CITY ON A HILL. Noah Wyle, who previously starred in THE LIBRARIANS for executive producer Devlin, will join the cast.
Kane also starred in THE LIBRARIANS and is currently headlining a third Devlin series, ALMOST PARADISE, which has its first-season finale on Monday, June 1. The series, set and shot in the Philippines, has Kane playing ex-DEA agent Alex Walker, who thought he’d be retiring to a nice relaxing beach, but gets caught up in local police business.
Kane has previously described his LEVERAGE character Eliot as “a Jason Bourne-ish type. He’s the muscle. He’s not one of those quiet guys. He’s kind of like B.A. Baracus from THE A-TEAM. He gets pissed off pretty easily, which is where his strengths come from. He actually uses his anger as another weapon.”
Readers of ASSIGNMENT X know that Kane recently gave a two-part interview about ALMOST PARADISE to the magazine. Approximately four hours after that interview was conducted, news broke about the LEVERAGE reboot.
Kane thereafter graciously got back on the phone to discuss this, explaining that he couldn’t say anything earlier, because he had been asked not to mention the LEVERAGE revival until the announcement had been made public.
ASSIGNMENT X: Were you an active part of getting LEVERAGE rebooted, or if not, when were you told about it?
CHRISTIAN KANE: I wasn’t an active part of getting it rebooted. I think that a lot of the LEVERAGE fans had everything to do with it. We had so much fun on the show, people wanted it to come back. I knew about it for a certain amount of time – obviously, working with Dean in the Philippines, as everything was going, I was hearing more and more about it, and I knew that it was a strong possibility. So I had a heads-up.
AX: Do you remember when Dean Devlin told you? Did he ask you if you wanted to do LEVERAGE again, or did he know that you wanted to do it, and so he just had to tell you, “Hey, this is happening”?
KANE: Oh, he knew I wanted to do it. I’ve been asking him to bring it back for years. We all have. And it’s a fan favorite. It’s my favorite character that I’ve ever played. It’s always been out there. It never went away. So it wasn’t a huge shock for us, because we always knew in some shape or form, it was going to come back. We just didn’t know how, we didn’t know when, we didn’t know exactly where. But we knew it was going to come back. So it was such a blessing, and we were so happy. But at the same time, it wasn’t like, “That’s out of the blue,” because it wasn’t. And especially me being very close to Dean. I’d always heard what was going on, what were the possibilities, and stuff like that. So it wasn’t a shock to me. It was very happy news.
AX: Were you going, “Great, LEVERAGE is coming back and we’re going to be on – wait, what is IMDB TV?”
KANE: [laughs] Well, no, because being an actor, I know IMDB very well. I don’t really get to sit down, with my schedule, and watch cable TV. So most of the stuff I watch is on Amazon. I knew that IMDB TV was going to be a subsidiary of Amazon, so I was very excited. Especially with them coming out of the gate with us, I think it’s the right move, I honestly do. I think that we can help out tremendously. Usually, you look at it the other way around, going, “Well, hey, they’re giving us a shot.” But literally, I think that we are a good racehorse to get out in the lead for them. Our track record proves it. And I think it’s going to be a really fun joint partnership. I think that they’re going to love us, and I think that we’re going to love them. So I’m excited about that.
AX: Have you talked to your LEVERAGE cast mates about this?
KANE: Not really, because I had just gotten back from the Philippines. We spoke briefly the night that [the press release] came out – I called Aldis, then he called me and told me to call him, so I called him and he wasn’t able to pick up. So we’ve been trading calls.
AX: The original LEVERAGE was shot in Portland, Oregon. Do you know if you are going back there?
KANE: Right now, we are not going back to Portland. It looks like we’re going to be shooting in New Orleans.
AX: And can you preview anything new about Eliot Spencer?
KANE: I can’t. I honestly don’t know if they’ll do anything different. Eliot’s one of those guys, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. So I don’t think there will be this new shiny Eliot that no one’s seen. I think if anybody is going to be the rock in this thing, I think it’ll probably be Eliot, because that’s where his character fits anyway. He was always the weight that held everybody down while they were flying. So I don’t think there will be anything different for my character. I know there will be different stuff for other people’s characters, but I’m not going to talk about that, because that’s not ready to tell the world, you know what I mean?
AX: How do you feel about being reunited with Noah Wyle? You worked together on Dean Devlin’s THE LIBRARIANS …
KANE: Noah’s a great guy. We know how to work together. The thing about Noah – he’s directed me before, he’s directed a couple of LIBRARIANS [episodes], and I feel really comfortable in front of the camera with him, so this should be a fun time.
AX: Any notion why Timothy Hutton is not coming back?
KANE: I don’t know.
AX: Assuming ALMOST PARADISE comes back for Season 2, have you and Dean Devlin talked about how you’re going to schedule both that and LEVERAGE, so that you can be a regular on both shows without cloning yourself?
KANE: We’ve talked about it quite a bit. The greatest thing about this is that I have the same boss [on both series]. And the beauty of his job is, he doesn’t have to work around his actor’s schedule [laughs]. It’s great having Dean at the helm as producer/creator, and me being one of his actors, because when I’m done with this, we go back to do that, and there’s no scheduling conflict. It’s never been a problem, never was, and it will not be a problem, which is really nice to hear. Because, you know, you start juggling stuff, and it just gets to be too much. And it’s so great, because now we get to work on LEVERAGE, and we get to fully concentrate on LEVERAGE, and when that’s done, we get to fully concentrate on ALMOST PARADISE, and so I’m excited.
AX: Do you know how many episodes you’ll be making in the first season of the new LEVERAGE?
KANE: We’re going to do thirteen of them.
AX: Do you know when it’s projected to start streaming, or does that depend on how things are going because of lockdowns and not-lockdowns?
KANE: I don’t know that. You know, strangely enough, you think that I would ask that question, but I never asked Dean that question. Which is kind of crazy. I think that everything relies on when we can go back to work. It’s all up to Dean. He’s calling the shots. And with everything else going on right now, I don’t think there is a set time. Or an actual date that IMDB TV is supposed to come up. We’re all shooting from the hip right now, trying to figure everything out, so I don’t want to say yes or no. We’ve got a tentative start date, but I don’t know if there’s a tentative air date, to be honest with you. I think that they’ll probably wait to see how this thing plays out, and everybody can go back to work, because just because we can go back to work doesn’t mean everybody in their office can.
AX: Some shows had to end early, because even though they’d shot everything for the season, they couldn’t get through post-production on all the episodes …
KANE: Yeah, that’s pretty much a hundred percent of them. The great thing about ALMOST PARADISE was, we actually did film on the day they shut down the airport in Manila, and flew out that exact day. But the post was a problem. Dean sent everybody home, some with his equipment, which most bosses wouldn’t do [laughs]. But he sent everybody home with the equipment, so they were doing everything from home, which was pretty great. Which is why it really pays off that Dean is the studio.
AX: It’s helpful to have your hands on the means of production …
KANE: Yeah, it really is. He’s really good at it. Otherwise, ALMOST PARADISE wouldn’t be out right now. I don’t know what would have been out. But because Dean is the studio, once again, we get to win.
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: ALMOST PARADISE: Star Christian Kane gives the scoop on the LEVERAGE 2.0 reboot and more