‘The Walking Dead’ Alum Tom Payne to Replace Finn Jones in Fox Pilot ‘Prodigal Son’

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Walker Stalker Convention/Heather Millsap

The Walking Dead‘s Tom Payne has already found his next gig. Payne, who played the role of Paul “Jesus” Rovia on the zombie series, has been announced as taking over the lead for Fox’s drama pilot Prodigal Son.

Late last week, it was announced that Iron Fist star Finn Jones would be playing the lead in the pilot, however, it appears that things have quickly changed. Payne will now replace Jones after the pilot’s table read which took place earlier this week. Deadline reports that this was most likely due to the timing on Jones’ contract. His deal was finalized just before the table read and, as such, that read through was most likely the first time producers were seeing him as the character. Ultimately, Deadline reports that Jones’ exit was due to creative differences.

Payne had reportedly previously tested for the role, and with Jones’ departure, should be a perfect fit for the upcoming pilot. He joins a cast which already includes Michael Sheen and Bellamy Young. Additional casting for the pilot includes Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau, and Frank Harts.

Prodigal Son will follow “Malcolm Bright (Payne), the son of a notorious serial killer called The Surgeon who understands how killers think. The criminal psychologist uses his skills to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers while balancing his manipulative mother (Bellamy), annoyingly normal sister, and a homicidal father (Sheen) still looking to bond with his prodigal son.” 

The pilot is written by Chris Fedak (Legends of Tomorrow) and Sam Sklaver (Deception) and directed by Lee Toland Krieger. Fedak, Sklaver and Krieger will also executive produce along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Prods.

What do you think about Prodigal Son so far? Does this pilot sound like something you’d like to see picked up to series? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.