Netflix has cast Renee Zellweger in her first major television role in the new anthology series What / If. The show is a social thriller drama series from Revenge creator Mike Kelly along with producer Robert Zemeckis. What / If explores the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. Each season will tackle a different morality tale inspired by culturally consequential source material, and the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life.
Renee Zellweger will star in the first season of What / If as a powerful woman who intends to help the struggling relationship of a newlywed couple plagued with financial difficulties. Zellweger's character provides an "ethically perilous proposition to secure a badly needed financial windfall" for the couple. Zellweger's character is described as a San Francisco venture capitalist, who is charming, seductive, and charismatic. The character made a "metaphorical" deal with the devil that set up the rest of her life, which is considered to be a dark and dangerous secret.
Mike Kelley wrote and is executive producing What / If. It's also been reported that Renee Zellweger has signed a one-year deal with Netflix to appear on the anthology series as a regular. The Academy Award winning actress has had minor TV roles over the years with her most notable appearance as the voice of Tammy Duvall on Mike Judge's animated comedy King of the Hill. Her first role on television was as Mary Lou on the made-for-TV movie, A Taste for Killing, in 1992, which was one year before she appeared in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused in an uncredited role as the girl in the blue pickup truck.
1996's Jerry Maguire was Renee Zellweger's breakout role. She played a 26-year old single mother who was in a relationship with Tom Cruise's sports agent character. She was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance for a Female Actor, but did not win the award. In 2004, Zellweger won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the BAFTA Award, and the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain. Zellweger's first major TV role for What / If is big news and will go a long way in cementing Netflix as a platform that delivers quality original material with big name actors.
Netflix has yet to announce when What / If will begin production, so a release date for the anthology series in currently unknown, but it will premiere sometime in 2019. It's been estimated that Netflix is spending $12 billion - $13 billion on original content for the year. That amount of money is currently a lot more than what HBO spends per year on their content. It's been projected that the streaming platform will be spending up to $22 billion by the year 2022, which they will need to compete with Disney's new streaming platform as well as continue to compete with HBO, Showtime, Hulu, and Amazon. You can head over to Netflix streaming service for updates.