By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 2, 2012 at 5:00PM
Is this going to be another case of Paul Bettany missing the boat? The actor famously passed on "The King's Speech" (to spend time with his family), and of course, the movie won a bunch of Oscars and became a box office hit. At the beginning of the year, Bettany exited from the developing Showtime series "Masters Of Sex"-- could this be another decision that will bite him in the ass?
We'll soon see, but we have to say, we have zero beef with his replacement -- Michael Sheen. The actor who nailed it both in "Midnight In Paris" last year will now star in the pilot episode opposite the indie Jessica Chastain of 2012, Lizzy Caplan. The actress is currently have a crazy year with two movies at Sundance ("Save The Date," "Bachelorette"), one more coming at SXSW ("Frankie Go Boom") and if all goes well (fingers crossed) she'll be shooting the "Party Down" movie later this year. So Sheen + Caplan? Hell yes. But don't expect to be crying tears of laughter.
The drama series is based on Thomas Maier's "The Masters Of Sex: The Life and Times Of William Masters and Virginia Johnson the Couple Who Taught America How to Love" about the pioneering couple who researched sex acts (in secret) with volunteers and helped put togther an unprecendented study on intimacy, sexual dysfunction and more. More controversially, they acted as therapists who tried to "cure" homosexuals. It's fascinating stuff, and should be a really nice change for both Sheen and Caplan, who in case you haven't guessed by now, will be playing Masters and Johnson respectively.
"Shakespeare In Love" helmer John Madden will take on the pilot, which starts shooting in March in New York. Let's hope this makes it to series. [THR]