If you bit hard at the mere thought of Ridley Scott and Matt Reeves developing Justin Cronin's vampire-plague trilogy The Passage into a TV series, then we've got some more bloody good news for you to sink your extra-long incisors into: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, aka Zack Morris, has been cast for the lead role in the Fox pilot.
Variety reports that Saniyya Sidney (Hidden Figures), Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk), Brianne Howey (The Exorcist), B.J. Britt (Antoine Triplett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Jennifer Ferrin (Hell on Wheels) have also been cast for "leading roles" in the Liz Heldens-written, Marcos Siega-directed hourlong drama pilot.
Of course, Gosselaar has had a long and somewhat storied career since Saved by the Bell, including his just-canceled Fox baseball show, Pitch -- but for some of us, he'll always be Zack, and will thus always be loved. It sounds like he'll be getting back into cop mode for this one, though, as he did famously from 2001-2005 in NYPD Blue. Here's what Variety has to say about Gosselaar's role, within the context of the plot:
"'The Passage' is based on Justin Cronin’s best-selling trilogy of the same name, and is described as an epic, character-driven thriller that morphs into a post-apocalyptic odyssey, which spans over a century and is told across two timelines. The story focuses on a 10-year-old girl named Amy Bellafonte (Sidney) who must save the human race. Gosselaar will play an FBI agent, who balks at kidnapping Amy, who has been targeted for an unholy government experiment and goes on the run with her with a veritable army of feds on his heels."
To be fair, Cronin's story doesn't feature your typical, run-of-the-mill, blood-sucking vampires, but, from the sound of it, something far scarier. Scott and Reeves immediately took to the story, picking up the rights to the book before readers could even buy it, with the idea of developing it as a film. With such a long timeline to cover, it's no wonder they figured TV would be the best format. And now they apparently figure Zack Morris is the best man to protect young Amy.
The Passage pilot will shoot this month in Atlanta, with eyes on the 2017/18 television season. Should the show get picked up, will you be watching?