Syfy begins casting for Defiance

Syfy has found its star for Defiance, the upcoming series described by the network as an experimental television show/video game project.

Grant Bowler will play the lead role in the project which takes a unique angle on the idea of a video game tie-in. According the the press release:

“Bowler plays Jeb Nolan, the law keeper in a bustling frontier boomtown that is one of the new world’s few oasis of civility and inclusion. Nolan is a former Marine who fought in the alien conflict and suffered the loss of his wife and child in the war. The trauma transformed him into a lone wanderer in the wilds of this new and dangerous world, bringing him to the town where his peacekeeping skills make him a valuable addition this new community.”

This project, announced over a year ago by Syfy, will attempt to combine the video game and television show into a parallel experience, where each will affect the other.

Defiance is being developed by Trion, an up and coming developer of massive multi-player games (including the successful MMO, Rift), who recently acquired an $85m strategic growth deal to help them meet this and other project goals, including the MMORTS End of Nations.

“Rift’s success with gamers worldwide is the tip of the iceberg for Trion,” said Trion Worlds CEO Lars Buttler.

“No other company has successfully attempted to create an original IP, build paradigm-altering technology, and develop a business of scale to lead the industry, let alone excel at all three. We have a world class team focused on our vision to bring the era of connected live services to premium games, much in the way casual and mid-core games have already been disrupted.”

Getting the projects to line up and properly balance will surely be a tremendous juggling act for the teams involved. This likely means shooting multiple versions of certain scenes, or at the very least, shooting each episode precariously close to its air date.

The official Defiance synopsis is thus:

“Set on a future Earth, Defiance introduces players and viewers to a world where humans and aliens live together on a planet transformed by decades of conflict. The game combines the intense action of a ‘AAA’ console shooter, with the persistence, scale, and customization of an MMO, while its TV counterpart weaves the rich tapestry of the world into a series with the scope, characters, and drama of a classic sci-fi epic. Because they exist in a single universe, the show and the game will influence each other and evolve together over time, with actions in both mediums driving the overall story of Defiance.”

Defiance will debut sometime in early 2012.