Starz has revealed the first official trailer for upcoming wrestling drama Heels, which is set to premiere on August 15, as well as airing day and date internationally on Starzplay. The series stars Stephen Amell as Jack Spade and Alexander Ludwig as his brother Ace, rivals in the squared circle who resurrect their father’s local wrestling promotion in an attempt to try and make something of themselves while living up to their family legacy.
Allison Luff stars as Jack’s wife Staci Spade, with Mary McCormack as his business partner and brains behind the Duffy Wrestling League Willie Day. The in-ring ensemble is filled out by Kelli Berglund as Crystal Tyler, Allen Maldonado as famed grappler Rooster Robins, James Harrison as journeyman Apocalypse, ex-WWE star and short-lived UFC fighter CM Punk as Ricky Rabies and Chris Bauer as Wild Bill Hancock, a former wrestler who now operates as a high-level talent scout.
Heels was developed by Loki creator and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron, executive producing alongside Get Smart and 50 First Dates director Peter Segal, who also helmed several episodes, with Mike O’Malley acting as showrunner.
As fictional and biographical movies like The Wrestler and Fighting with My Family, as well as acclaimed documentary Beyond the Mat and VICE’s Dark Side of the Ring series have shown, the behind the scenes machinations and personal sacrifices involved in the professional wrestling industry are arguably just as interesting and exciting as what unfolds in the ring. Unlike its spiritual bedfellow, the dearly departed GLOW, Heels is treating its somewhat outlandish subject matter with the utmost seriousness, and could be a fascinating exploration of what drives the characters to hedge their bets on a niche family-run business in rural Georgia.
It’s the first major role for leading man Amell since he ended his tenure as The CW’s Green Arrow, and Heels is evidently a big passion project for the actor. He’s no stranger to the squared circle, having wrestled a match for WWE in 2015 in what was viewed as one of the better celebrity crossover bouts, while he’s also appeared for the Ring of Honor and All Elite Wrestling outfits since.
That would at least confirm he’s fully committed to realism and authenticity in terms of his performance, and you can check out the first trailer below. Heels is set to premiere August 15 on Starz.