Nanzeen Contractor (from left), Brandon Jay McLaren and Sarah Greene have joined the cast of "Ransom." (Handout photos)

‘Ransom’ nabs new cast members, starts filming

The upcoming hostage drama Ransom started production in Toronto this week, kidnapping new cast members to join headliner Luke RobertsPenny Dreadful star Sarah Greene, Brandon Jay McLaren and Nazneen Contractor have joined the cast.

Roberts (“Black Sails”) stars as hostage negotiator Eric Beaumont in the series inspired by the experiences of crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert. Many consider Combalbert and his partner, Marwan Mery, two of the top negotiators in the world.

Luke Roberts dives into world of negotiating in Ransom

Greene plays Maxine Carlson, a new member of Beaumont’s team who eager to prove herself. McLaren (“Graceland”) stars as Oliver Yates, a book-smart psychological profiler. Contractor, who was set to star in “Chicago Justice,” plays tough-talking ex-cop Zara Hallam.

An NBC spokesman would not comment on whether Contractor will return to “Justice” when it begins filming in September. The Hollywood Reporter, citing unnamed sources, says Contractor has exited NBC’s legal drama.

David Vainola (“Combat Hospital”) and Frank Spotnitz (“Man in the High Castle”) created “Ransom.” The 13-episode first season is slated to air on CBS in the 2016-17 season, but the network has not announced a premiere date.

“My partners at eOne, Sienna Films and Wildcats Productions and I are incredibly excited to bring ‘Ransom’ to life,” Spotnitz said in a release. “We have a fascinating cast of characters, led by Eric Beaumont, and thrilling stories about saving lives in extraordinarily difficult situations.”

In the series, Beaumont’s team travels the globe to help corporations and government agencies with complex negotiations and conflict resolution. They attempt to save lives while resolving the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases. While Beaumont’s powers of manipulation make him the best at what he does professionally, they often complicate his personal relationships.

Spotnitz and his Big Light Productions banner will executive produce the series, which also will film in France. Producers include Entertainment One, Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny of Sienna Films, and Valerie Pechels and Odile McDonald of Wildcats Productions. TF1 and Shaw Media co-developed “Ransom.” 

Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions have several upcoming projects. The four-part comedy-drama “The Indian Detective” stars international comedian Russell Peters. He plays Doug D’Mello, a Toronto cop who investigates a murder in his parents’ Indian homeland. The eight-episode “Medici: Masters of Florence” tells the story of the 15th Century Italian family credited with creating the modern banking system. It stars Richard Madden and Dustin Hoffman.

More Ransom: Luke Roberts talks about his role