"I'm a movie star now, bitch," "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul said into his cellphone to HBO, before driving his Ferarri into the Malibu sunset. Okay, that probably didn't happen, but with the actor now toplining the franchise ready "Need For Speed," it seems the allure of the television — no matter how strong the quality of the project — is perhaps losing its sheen. Even though it was reported to have a pilot order this summer, it seems HBO's "The Missionary" has had to find a new lead, and indeed they have.
This year's other Abe Lincoln, Benjamin Walker, is now slotted to take on the series, and it's certainly another chance for the actor to break out. Penned by Charles Randolph ("The Interpreter," "Love And Other Drugs"), the 1960s-set, Cold War drama will center on an American missionary who gets involved with the CIA, and helps as young woman escape Berlin. The show has some powerhouse talent behind it with Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg and author Malcolm Gladwell all producing. Levinson and Wahlberg are the pair behind HBO hits "Boardwalk Empire," "Entourage," "In Treatment" and "How To Make It In America" so yeah, the quality should be up there.
No word yet on when it roll, but between this and a lead role in Stephen Frears' "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" it looks like Walker is becoming a familiar face around HBO (the company is producing that film as well), which is not a bad place to be at all. [THR]