Burn After Reading

J.K. Simmons seems to have finally reached the point in his career where he might not have to be in commercials anymore, and all he had to do was win an Oscar to do it. Or maybe not: Deadline reports that the Whiplash star will play the lead role in Counterpart, a new supernatural thriller series. On the one hand, Morten Tyldum, director of The Imitation Game, has signed on to direct the first two episodes, which is very fancy. On the other, it’s going to be on Starz, and the size of the episode order has yet to be set, so Simmons might want to renew his Farmers Insurance contract just to be safe.

Simmons will star as Howard Silk, a low-ranking bureaucratic official working for the UN who, in Deadline’s surprisingly poetic words, “is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret.” That is, until he discovers that the agency is involved in a coverup hiding the existence of a portal that leads to a parallel universe. This, one can only assume, will leads to all sorts of Fringe-esque adventures as Simmons travels between worlds; there, he meets his counterpart, a man named Prime who—we assume, anyway—is a totally chill dude who just likes to kick back with a brewski and would never dream of throwing a cymbal at anyone. We also assume that, in this parallel dimension, J.K. Simmons has been a household name this whole time.