It might have taken over three decades, but Daniel Dae Kim has finally picked up his first lead role in a television series. After appearing in a variety of supporting roles in many different shows over the years, the award-winning actor has taken to Twitter to announce that his new role in the National Geographic series The Hot Zone: Anthrax will mark his first role in a TV series as one of the lead actors.
"Hardly the biggest news given what's going on in the world today, But after 31 years of working in TV, this is my first series lead," Kim said.
Kim's announcement follows the news that he's been cast alongside Tony Goldwyn (King Richard, Lovecraft Country) as the leads in the next installment of National Geographic's anthology series, The Hot Zone: Anthrax. Airing in 2019, the first season of the series followed U.S. Army scientist Nancy Jaax, a veterinary pathologist who identified the ebolavirus in monkeys in 1989. Starring Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), the show was critically-acclaimed and it wasn't long before the network ordered another season.
For The Hot Zone: Anthrax, the six-episode series explores the infamous anthrax attacks in the United States that caused panic across the country just mere weeks after 9/11. Per Deadline, it will focus on "the trials of USAMRIID scientists, FBI agents, and Justice Department personnel that joined forces to triumph over the national threat that claimed five lives and left 17 others ill. After a slew of turf wars and false alarms, the unlikely interagency team eventually cracks the case and closes in on the prime suspect."
Daniel Dae Kim has been cast as Matthew Ryker, an FBI agent with a specialty in microbiology. Meanwhile, Goldwyn will play Bruce Ivans, a brilliant microbiologist who gets caught up in the hunt for the anthrax killer. Goldwyn's character is also said to mentally unravel as he works to get to the bottom of the horrific and complex crime.
Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of scripted and documentary films at National Geographic, addressed the casting of the two leads in a statement. "Tony and Daniel are both wonderfully versatile and dimensional actors who will bring complexity and depth to these characters," Bernstein says.
While he hasn't been cast in a series lead, Kim's work as an actor has earned him awards recognition. As part of the cast of the sci-fi drama Lost, he won the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. He also won Outstanding Television Actor as the Asian Excellent Awards. For two consecutive years, Kim was also up for Choice TV Actor in an Action Series at the Teen Choice Awards for his role in Hawaii Five-0.
Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson will return to executive produce and serve as showrunners for Anthrax. Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker will also executive produce alongside Jordan Sheehan and Lynda Obst. Richard Preston will serve as a co-executive producer. Production is set to begin in Toronto in Winter 2021. This news comes to us from Variety.