Nearly two decades after the success of the 2001 film, CBS is rebooting the popular franchise with a new crime drama led by Bill Paxton and Justin Cornwell. In the follow-up series, which takes place 15 years after the events of the movie, Officer Kyle Craig (Cornwell) infiltrates the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Investigation Section by becoming partner to the morally ambiguous Detective Frank Roarke (Paxton).
“When I read the pilot, there was a lot of action in the pilot and I thought ‘Oh my god, are you ready for this?’” Paxton says in ET’s exclusive first look at the freshman series.
“We’re blowing up cars. We’re jumping out of windows. Every single week we get to do something fun,” adds newcomer Cornwell.
Paxton spoke about why his character is the way he is, revealing that the death of an old partner with familial ties to Kyle, still tugs at Frank -- though he may not show it at the outset.
“Frank Roarke is a guy who’s a loner, he’s a gun fighter. He’s haunted by the past, particularly the death of his partner, Kyle’s father,” the 61-year-old actor explains. “He is so outspoken and he is such an instigator and such an action guy.”
But it’s a secret mission from Kyle’s superiors that puts him in the unexpected position of forging an unlikely partnership with Frank. “I need you to go undercover and stop a rogue cop from becoming the next Alonzo Harris,” Kyle’s boss directs him, referencing Denzel Washington’s antagonist in the 2001 film.
“He’s been doing a lot of shady stuff on the force and I’m planted into his force to find out what’s going on,” Cornwell, 28, says.
Antoine Fuqua, director of the original movie and executive producer on the series, recalled wanting to continue living in the world. “Training Day, the movie, you get two hours and I’m wanting to do more,” Fuqua says, adding that the show is “a lot more fun.”
“The central tension of the show is whether Kyle is going to be able to pull Frank into the light or whether Frank is going to pull Kyle into the darkness,” creator Will Beall says.
Though Paxton takes on the antagonist role, he believes Frank ultimately has the best intentions.