Cast & Crew Talk About How CBS’ Upcoming ‘Training Day’ Series Will Differ from the Antoine Fuqua Movie

"Training Day" / CBS

“Training Day” / CBS

CBS today announced several winter and spring scheduling moves, including

CBS will launch “Training Day” – the series premiere of its serial adaptation of Antoine Fuqua’s “Training Day” – on Thursday, February 2 from 10-11PM, ET/PT.

Earlier today at the 2017 Television Critics Association Winter Tour, co-stars Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell were present with Executive Producers Jerry Bruckheimer, Antoine Fuqua, Will Beall, and Barry Schindel to discuss the upcoming new CBS show based on the hit movie.

Paxton compared the series high intensity to how a Tesla “goes from zero to 60.” The veteran actor shared what most excites him about the new crime thriller: “It has been a lot of fun to play a roguish character… There’s a real Western ethos to [my character, Detective Frank Rourke]. He’s a throwback.”

Paxton appreciated the challenge of playing a complicated character that was, as he explained, pulled out of a time capsule and “thrown into the modern age.” Adding to the experience was that he was able to delve into the many different sides of another main character: the city of Los Angeles. The series will explore areas like Skid Row and downtown Los Angeles.

“L.A. is an amazing place,” stressed Paxton. “We’re going to go everywhere with this [series].”




As for comparisons to the Antoine Fuqua movie of the same name, Executive Producer Will Beall explained that it will live in the same universe as the 2001 feature film, but will be “its own thing.” “Training Day” the CBS series begins 15 years after the events of the feature film, and follows a young, idealistic police officer who is tapped to go undercover in an elite squad of the LAPD where he partners with a veteran, morally ambiguous detective. Detective Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton) is the maverick head of the Special Investigation Section (S.I.S.) that hunts the city’s most dangerous criminals, and is one of the finest investigators the department has ever produced. However, when the LAPD brass notices Rourke’s penchant for operating in a gray area to fight the war on crime, they assign Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell), a heroic, untarnished cop, to pose as Frank’s trainee to spy on him and report on his off-book methods. The members of Frank’s loyal team include Rebecca Lee (Katrina Law), a formidable officer with killer aim and a dark past, and Tommy Campbell (Drew Van Acker), a former pro surfer who follows Frank’s orders without hesitation. Providing Frank with intel is his girlfriend, Holly Butler (Julie Benz), a well-connected, unapologetic Hollywood madam. While LAPD Deputy Chief Joy Lockhart (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) coolly puts Kyle in danger in her mission to take down Frank, Kyle’s schoolteacher wife, Alyse (Lex Scott Davis), worries her husband’s resolve to avenge the murder of his father, a cop, may be his undoing. As Frank starts teaching his principled trainee the way of the streets, where the ends often justify the means, they form an uneasy alliance that will irrevocably change the course of both their lives.

“We considered that sacred ground,” said Beall of the original Fuqua film. “We are distinct in that our tone is really fun… ‘Training Day’ is a valuable title that Warner Bros. has and we treat it like Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari in [the film] ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ We put a lot of miles on it.”

That actors chimed in with praise for the feature film, while emphasizing that they are creating something wholly different for a TV audience. Executive Producer Antoine Fuqua is especially excited to dive further into the show’s main characters and the ethical struggles they face.

“‘Training Day,’ for me, was like ‘Heart of Darkness’,” said Fuqua of the feature film. In contrast, the TV series will demonstrate how “Paxton’s character Frank has made it up the river and somehow made his way back … he’s still looking for redemption,” Fuqua added, saying that it’s all about character development, and that viewers can expect a complexity that’s both entertaining—and enlightening. “You get to explore a little further than in a movie of what’s [considered] going too far.”

The premiere of “Training Day” the CBS series is set for Thursday, Feb. 2 at 10/9c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Based on the feature film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer, Antoine Fuqua, Will Beall, Barry Schindel, Jonathan Littman and Danny Cannon are executive producers for Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Fuqua Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. Cannon directed the pilot.

Watch the trailer for “Training Day,” the CBS series, below:



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