“Lioness” is also shaping up to be star-studded, with “Avatar” star Zoe Saldaña also on board as an executive producer and star. “Locke & Key” actor Laysla De Oliveira will be taking on the lead role of Cruz Manuelos, described by the official synopsis as a Marine who is recruited to a special CIA program – called the Lioness Engagement Team – tasked with gathering intelligence in wartime Iraq. The Lioness program was a real thing during the Iraq War, and a 2008 documentary by Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers captured the perspectives of some of the women involved.
Kidman is set to play CIA Senior Supervisor Kaitlyn Meade, a wife, mentor, and senior official who has a lot to juggle at work and at home, including, according to Variety, “the trappings of being a woman in the high-ranking intelligence community.” Along with Kidman and Saldaña, co-star Jill Wagner will also executive produce the series, and it’s heartening to see that this project that seems to be all about the double-edged sword of womanhood will actually include some women behind the camera.
Sheridan, meanwhile, created the series and will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Thomas Brady was originally on board as showrunner, and Collider reports he worked in the show’s writer’s room, but Sheridan took over that role last June. When he was on board, Brady gave a statement to TV Insider that let future viewers know what they may be in for with the series, calling it “an epic, gripping, global spy thriller centered on a group of complex, strong women.” One thing is for certain: the show can only be made stronger by the presence of always-excellent Kidman.
“Lioness” does not yet have a release date yet but will stream on Paramount+.