The lead roles in Riverworld and The Phantom — two of SCI FI Channel and RHI Entertainment’s recently announced trio of four-hour movie events — have been cast and production on both back-door movie pilots began Monday, April 6.
Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica/Dollhouse) and Laura Vandervoort (Smallville) star in Riverworld based on the popular award-winning series of novels by Philip Jose Farmer. Penikett stars as Matt Ellman, an American war zone reporter who has witnessed the worst of humanity first-hand yet still grasps on to an optimistic spirit. When a suicide bomber kills both Matt and his fiancée Jessie, played by Vandervoort, they awaken, separated in a mysterious world where everyone who has ever lived on Earth, seems to have been “reborn” along the banks of a seemingly endless river. Determined to locate Jessie, Matt joins forces with a 13th century female samurai warrior named Tomoe (Jeananne Goossen) and American novelist Sam ‘Mark Twain’ Clemens (Mark Deklin). Together they sail upriver in search of its source, and to discover where they are and who put them there. Alan Cumming (Tin Man) guest stars as the mysterious ‘Caretaker.’ Riverworld (Airdate 2010) is produced by Reunion Pictures and is shooting in Vancouver, BC. RHI will distribute internationally.
Ryan Carnes (Desperate Housewives/Dr. Who) has been cast in title role of The Phantom and his alter ego Chris Walker in this re-imagined version of the classic comic book transported to present day. Isabella Rossellini will guest star in a villainous turn as ‘Lithia,’ the head of an experimental mind control program. Also starring are Cameron Goodman as Chris Walker’s love interest, Renny and Sandrine Holt (24/The L Word) as The Phantom’s trusted advisor Guran.
A favorite costumed hero for more than six decades, The Phantom relies on his wits, physical strength and skill with weapons over superhuman powers. Production will begin on Monday April 6 in Montreal with Director, Paolo Barzman (The Last Templar) at the helm. The Phantom (Airdate 2010) is produced by Muse Entertainment. RHI will distribute internationally.