‘Counterpart’ Trailer: New Starz Thriller From ‘The Jungle Book’ Writer Looks Truly Crazypants

Read on: IndieWire

To say we fully understand what’s in store when the upcoming Starz drama “Counterpart” premieres would be a lie. But it’s nothing short of intriguing. The high-concept drama, starring J.K. Simmons, is described as follows:

“Counterpart” is about a mysterious world hidden beneath the surface of our everyday existence. Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons) is a lowly cog in the bureaucratic machinery of a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency. When Howard discovers that his organization safeguards the secret of a crossing into a parallel dimension, he is thrust into a shadow world of intrigue, danger, and double cross… where the only man he can trust is “Prime” (also played by J.K. Simmons), his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world. The show explores themes of identity, fate and lost love, posing the eternal question, “what if our lives could have been different?”

Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd, Kenneth Choi, Stephen Rea, Richard Schiff, Nicholas Pinnock, Nazanin Boniadi, Sara Serraiocc, and Ulrich Thomsen co-star. Check out the trailer below.

What we know for sure is that Starz has a knack for developing genre-skewing ideas with a sexy edge, though “Counterpart” (unlike “American Gods” or “Outlander”) is notable for not being a book adaptation, but instead an original idea created by Justin Marks (“The Jungle Book”).

Based on the trailer, “Counterpart” looks to blend a high-concept sci-fi idea — the parallel universes at war with each other — with a dark noir execution, not to mention characters with plenty of secrets and surprises. Plus, as directed by “The Imitation Game” and “Passengers” helmer Morten Tyldum, the distinct visual style evokes memories of Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” or Alex Proyas’s “Dark City.”

In short, “Counterpart” is one we’re eagerly anticipating. The series premieres January 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. on Starz.