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‘What / If’ First Look: Renee Zellweger Will Make Desires Come True (For a Cost) on Netflix

The Oscar-winning actress stars in the new series created by "Revenge's" Mike Kelley.

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Renee Zellweger in “What / If.”

Adam Rose/Netflix

For the first time since a 2001 guest-starring role on the Fox animated series “King of the Hill,” Renee Zellweger is doing television. The Oscar-winning actress plays the mysterious central figure in “What / If,” a new Netflix series created by Mike Kelley, with a pilot episode directed by Phillip Noyce. As revealed in the first-look video and photos below, the series is packed with dark sexy moments, as money, power, and desire collide.

Netflix’s official description of “What / If” goes as follows:

Neo-noir social thriller “What / If” explores the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. The season focuses on a mysterious woman’s lucrative but dubious offer to a cash-strapped pair of San Francisco newlyweds.

While Zellweger did some TV movie work early in her career, “What / If” is her first real series regular role, featuring the star as a venture capitalist who likes playing games with people. Two of those people are Lisa (Jane Levy, most memorable as the young star of ABC’s comedy series “Suburgatory” and the 2013 remake of “The Evil Dead”) and Blake Jenner (an actor featured heavily in the Fox musical drama “Glee”). Louis Herthum is also a series regular.

Kelley, who previously created the ABC drama “Revenge,” is also behind the writing for “What / If,” and wrote in a letter addressed to critics: “I’ve spent the best part of my career creating television that explores the dramatic ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people do unacceptable things, and the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life. ‘What / If’ takes this narrative approach and injects it into a self-contained 10-episode neo-noir thriller, with a tone that harkens back to the high-octane Adrien Lyne/Joe Eszerthas filmic brand of sex, murder, and deceit.”

Appropriately enough, Noyce’s early films include thrillers like “Sliver,” “Clear and Present Danger,” and “Patriot Games.” In recent years, he has focused on a healthy mix of TV and film, and previously directed the pilot for “Revenge.”

The full first season of “What / If” premieres Friday, May 24 on Netflix. Check out the teaser video and first-look photos below.

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“What / If”

Erik Voake/Netflix

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“What / If”

Erik Voake/Netflix

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“What / If”

Ray Mickshaw/Netflix

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“What / If”

Courtesy of Netflix

WHAT | IF

“What / If”

Courtesy of Netflix

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