O’Neill was announced in March 2021, but had to leave Amazon’s upcoming sci-fi drama series Lightyears due to “family reasons” as reported by Deadline. Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons will co-star alongside fellow Academy Award winner, Sissy Spacek.
Lightyears is one of the four new series to be filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios this spring. Cinespace is the Midwest’s production hot spot and second-largest film studio outside of Los Angeles in North America, recently added another 105,000 square foot industrial building near its main campus to expand its footprint and bring more stages online for the busy content creation industry.
Simmons is a highly acclaimed actor on both the big and small screen. He won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award in 2015 for Whiplash, with his other films including Spider-Man, Juno, La La Land, and Thank You for Smoking. His TV credits include Oz and Counterpart, and he lent his voice to shows such as The Legend of Korra and Amazon’s Invincible, which was recently renewed for two more seasons.
Lightyears follows Franklin (Simmons) and Irene York (Spacek), a couple who years ago discovered a chamber buried in their backyard that inexplicably leads to a strange, deserted planet. They’ve carefully guarded their secret ever since, but when an enigmatic young man enters their lives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is quickly upended… and the mysterious chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could ever have imagined.
Lightyears is a co-production of Amazon Studios and Legendary Television. The series is written and co-executive produced by Holden Miller, with Daniel C. Connolly serving as showrunner and executive producer, and Mosaic’s Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen serving as executive producers. Argentinian director Juan José Campanella will direct and executive produce the first two episodes.