Justin Cornwell has booked the co-lead role opposite Bill Paxton in CBS’ drama pilot based on Antoine Fuqua’s “Training Day.”
Per CBS’ press release, the “Training Day” series will center on Kyle Craig “an idealistic young African American police officer [who] is appointed to an elite squad of the LAPD, where he is partnered with a seasoned, morally ambiguous Caucasian detective.”
Cornwell will play Kyle Craig and Paxton is the “morally ambiguous Caucasian detective.” As you will recall, in Fuqua’s film, the “morally ambiguous” was a black man played by Denzel Washington, and the idealistic young officer he was partnered with was a white man, played by Ethan Hawke. So CBS’ pilot is switching the races of the 2 lead characters.
Lex Scott Davis (who we last saw play Toni Braxton in Lifetime’s original movie) will play Kyle Craig’s “smart and cynical” wife Alyse, a history teacher who loves and greatly admires her husband and his insatiable drive.
This will be at least the 3rd cop movie with a black lead that CBS has considered turning into a weekly TV series – “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Rush Hour” are the other 2. Of course we know that the network would eventually pass on the “Beverly Hills Cop” TV series which was to star Brandon T. Jackson as Axel Foley’s son (although a pilot was produced); the “Rush Hour” series, on the other hand, was ordered and is set to debut this year, as a mid-season replacement.
Cornwell is a relative newcomer; his IMDB credits include parts in single episodes of “Chicago P.D.,” and “Empire,” as well as an uncredited role in Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq.”
Fuqua will executive produce the pilot with Jerry Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman for WBTV.