Syfy’s DEFIANCE Commences Series Production in Toronto July 24th

Both the series and the game will debut simultaneously in April 2013.

Defiance will commence series production in Toronto, ON starting July 24, having completed shooting on the pilot episode this past spring (for a total of 12 episodes/13 hours). The series stars Grant Bowler (Nolan), Julie Benz (Amanda Rosewater), Stephanie Leonidas (Irisa), Tony Curran (Datak Tarr), Jaime Murray (Stahma Tarr), Graham Greene (Rafe McCawley), Mia Kirshner (Kenya) and Fionnula Flanagan (Nicky).

An unprecedented partnership between Syfy and Trion Worlds, Defiance is the first-ever convergence of television and Massive Multiplayer Online gaming, featuring an interconnected world and storylines that will co-exist throughout a scripted drama series and a multiplatform MMO shooter. Both the series and the game will debut simultaneously in April 2013.

Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully. Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in the game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.

The series is executive produced by Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica; Hellcats) & Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Kevin Murphy serves as showrunner. Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest) directed the pilot; Michael Nankin will serve as director/producer on the series. Defiance is produced by Universal Cable Productions. The game was named “Best MMORPG” from GameSpy at the recent E3 conference in June 2012 (among other accolades).

About Syfy
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

About Universal Cable Productions
Universal Cable Productions creates innovative and critically acclaimed original scripted and digital content across multiple media platforms and outlets for domestic and international distribution. UCP produces “Covert Affairs,” “Fairly Legal,” “In Plain Sight,” “Psych,” “Royal Pains” and “Suits” for USA; “Alphas,” “Defiance,” “Eureka” and “Warehouse 13” for Syfy; and “I Just Want My Pants Back” for MTV. Universal Cable Productions is a division of NBCUniversal.

About Trion Worlds
Trion Worlds is the leading publisher and developer of premium games for the connected era. Powered by a breakthrough development and publishing platform, Trion is revolutionizing the way games are developed, played and sold. Trion’s world-class team delivers high-quality, dynamic and massively social games operated as live services across the biggest game genres and devices; including the critically acclaimed blockbuster, Rift(TM) and the highly-anticipated End of Nations(TM) and Defiance(TM). Trion is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., with offices in San Diego, Calif., Austin, Texas, and at Trion Worlds Europe in London, UK.

via Syfy Press Release

Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran and Jaime Murray Join the Cast of Syfy’s Groundbreaking Series DEFIANCE

Syfy has announced additional casting for its upcoming epic science fiction drama Defiance, inking Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran and Jaime Murray to co-star in the first-ever series to unite television and MMO gaming. The pilot, slated to commence production this April in Toronto, is directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest), and written/executive produced by Rockne O’Bannon (Farscape), Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica; Hellcats) & Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Kevin Murphy serves as showrunner.

Defiance is a visionary enterprise in collaboration with Trion Worlds, with the Syfy series and Trion’s multi-platform shooter MMO poised to debut simultaneously. Set in the near future, Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story. Defiance is produced by Universal Cable Productions.

Benz portrays Amanda Rosewater, the idealistic mayor of a bustling mining boomtown, one of the world’s few oases of civility and inclusion. As the newly appointed mayor, she is determined to maintain peace in the community, an ambitious task in this deadly new world.

Leonidas plays Irisa, an exotically beautiful warrior who is part of an alien race called the Irathients. After Nolan (Bowler) killed her criminal father, he adopted the girl and raised her as his clever—and lethal—right-hand.

Curran will portray Datak Tarr, part of an elite alien race known as the Castithans. Datak grew up in the slums of his home planet, but despite being part of the under-privileged class, he schemed his way onto one of the alien arks, saving himself before his home planet was destroyed.

Murray portrays Datak’s beautiful and proper wife, Stahma, a high-ranking Castithan before her home planet ceased to exist. Clever, imaginative and darkly opportunistic, Stahma is perhaps more dangerous than her husband.

The four join New Zealand born actor Grant Bowler, who is well-known for the recurring role on Ugly Betty (2008) as Wilhelmina Slater’s love interest, Connor Owens, and for the role of Cooter, the leader of the werewolf biker gang in the HBO series True Blood (2010) and Captain Gault in ABC’s Lost (2008). Bowler plays Nolan, the new law keeper in the boomtown and former Marine who fought in the alien conflict. After losing his wife and child in the war, he becomes a wanderer in the dangerous new world, eventually joined by Irisa, a young Irathient he raises as his own and as his lone companion in the lawless badlands.

The versatile and dynamic Benz is known for her wide variety of film and television roles, in 2006 winning a Golden Satellite Award for Best Supporting TV Actress for her role as beloved ‘Rita Bennett’ on Showtime’s award-winning series Dexter. Last fall, Benz recurred on the CBS medical drama A Gifted Man, opposite Patrick Wilson and last spring starred in the ABC series No Ordinary Family, opposite Michael Chiklis. In 2010, she starred on ABC’s smash hit Desperate Housewives for a multi-episode arc as “Robin,” a stripper with a heart of gold and a master’s degree in education. Throughout her career, Benz has won the hearts of many devoted fans starring in an array of genre classics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Roswell, as well as the Steven Spielberg-produced miniseries for Syfy (then SCI FI Channel), Taken. In addition, she has guest starred on many hit TV shows, among them Royal Pains, Supernatural, CSI and Law and Order. On the big screen, Benz starred in the Roadside Attractions film Answers to Nothing, opposite Dane Cook, which was released in December 2011. Benz also had a great turn with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets and starred with Rose McGowan, Pam Grier, Judy Greer and Rebecca Gayheart in Jawbreaker, the first of many cult-hits that would soon follow.

British actress Leonidas is known for her many television appearances, most recently in Whitechapel, Eternal Law, and the BBC’s Dracula, as well as the award winning ITV film for television Wall of Silence. Stephanie made her film debut in Sally Potter’s Yes, followed by Ate de Jongh’s Fogbound. Other film credits include the lead role of Helena in David McKean’s Mirrormask, Luis Llosa’s feature film Feast of the Goat, Ben Sombogaart’s Crusade in Jeans: A March through Time, Luna and most recently Andrew Douglas’ U Want Me To Kill Him. Stephanie has also appeared on stage in the lead role of Dani in Marianne Elliott’s The Sugar Syndrome at the Royal Court, receiving rave reviews, and most recently portrayed Adela in Gadi Roll’s House of Bernarda Alba. She is repped by Thruline and ARG in the UK.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Curran rose to fame in the BBC series This Life. Since then, the actor has appeared in a number of major film and television roles including The Invisible Man, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Guillermo de Toro’s Blade II. Curran is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Murray is an English-born actress best known for playing Stacie Monroe in the BBC series Hustle and Lila Tournay in season two of the Showtime series, Dexter. She has also had recurring roles as H.G. Wells in Syfy’s Warehouse 13, Gaia in the Starz series Spartacus: Gods in the Arena and Olivia Charles in The CW series Ringer.

via Syfy Press Release