‘Rabbit Hole’ Sees Trusted Actor Portray Sketchy Spy, Producers Say
Kiefer Sutherland plays master of corporate deception in Paramount Plus series that tips its hat to ‘70s espionage movies
Rabbit Hole, with Kiefer Sutherland as John Weir, “a master of deception in the world of corporate espionage,” premieres on streaming service Paramount Plus on March 26. The show sees Weir framed for murder by some powerful forces that possess the ability to influence and control populations.
Charles Dance, Meta Golding and Enid Graham are also in the cast.
In Sutherland, Rabbit Hole has an actor viewers trust, according to the producers, playing a character who “lies for a living,” executive producer Glenn Ficarra said. “He’s a guy who is paranoid,” Ficarra added. “He navigates the world with that mindset. It’s hard for him to trust people. It’s hard for him to see things for anything other than ulterior motives.”
Executive producer John Requa said Sutherland is “the perfect guy” to play Weir, because the role is all about getting viewers to trust the character. “America completely trusts [Sutherland],” he said. “We tell a story where you don’t know where the truth lies. We can go on a journey with Kiefer and the audience will always be with us.”
Both Ficarra and Requa, who previously worked on the Amazon Prime Video spy drama Patriot, said there have not been great espionage movies since the 1970s, when spy films such as Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View and, going back a bit further, The Manchurian Candidate, were on screens. “We love those movies, but the genre has been completely dropped,” Requa said.
In the modern era, where disinformation and misinformation are battled on a daily basis and trust in major institutions has, to a degree, evaporated, the time was right to tackle a project that touches on those themes, the producers noted. “It just seems to be very relevant today,” Ficarra said.
Sutherland, Requa and Ficarra executive produce with Charlie Gogolak, Suzan Bymel and Hunt Baldwin.
Reviews for the show have been mostly favorable. One in Variety said, “If you’ve been missing Jack Bauer in your life, Kiefer Sutherland’s latest TV gig won’t disappoint. In Rabbit Hole, Paramount Plus’s slick new action thriller, Sutherland takes up the mantle of a present-day Robin Hood: one who robs the rich with elevated psychology and predictive behavior in order to help the causes he cares about.” ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.