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Heels: Everything we know about the upcoming Starz series
With Glow officially cancelled at Netflix, upcoming Starz drama Heels is about to become the go-to series for prestige, wrestling-world storytelling.
Headed up by Arrow star Stephen Amell and Vikings’ Alexander Ludwig, the series premieres later this summer. It tells a story of dysfunctional family ties between brothers fighting as much outside the ring as in it.
Before it drops, here’s everything you need to know about Heels.
What is Heels all about?
Set in the world of independent professional wrestling, Heels is a family drama. The show centers on brothers Jack and Ace Spade, played by Amell and Ludwig respectively. Throughout, the two compete as opposing wrestlers in the Georgia wrestling scene.
Much like Netflix’s Glow, the series plays on the notion of “faces” (heroes) and “heels” (villains) in the ring. We see how characters are made and how audiences root for or against them.
Heels is a story about the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small town pro wrestling.
As per a Starz press release: “Heels is a story about the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small town pro wrestling. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, it follows a family-owned wrestling promotion as two brothers and rivals war over their late father’s legacy. In the ring, somebody must play the good guy and somebody must play their nemesis, the heel. But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind.”
The show also follows how the brothers relate to their fellow wrestlers, their spouses and significant others, and their business partners.
When and where can I watch it?
As a Starz original series, Heels will be available only on Starz.
The eight-episode season will premiere worldwide August 15 across all Starz platforms. This includes on the linear cable channel in the US and Canada at 9pm ET/PT that Sunday.
It will additionally be available to stream, same-day, internationally on the Starzplay streaming platform.
The key players
Joining Amell and Ludwig onscreen are Alison Luff, Mary McCormack, Kelli Berglund, James Harrison, Allen Maldonado, and Chris Bauer as part of the main cast.
The series is written and created by Michael Waldron, whose name may sound familiar to Marvel fans. Waldron is showrunner of Loki, which just wrapped up its first season on Disney Plus.
Joining Waldron at Starz is Mike O’Malley (Shameless) serving as showrunner and executive producer of Heels. Peter Segal, who directs several episodes, also serves as executive producer, along with Christopher Donnelly and Patrick Walmsley.
How did COVID-19 affect production?
Heels first went into pre-production just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As such, it suffered several delays early on.
Once production got underway though, things apparently ran smoothly.
Despite a crew member and star Stephen Amell contracting the virus during shooting, the production was prepared to work around setbacks. Amell was shooting every day, but during his absence for isolation, production shifted to shooting scenes that didn’t include his character to avoid further disruption.
Soon after his recovery and return to work, Amell sustained a back injury while performing a stunt and needed to pause shooting again to recover. The production still didn’t noticeably slow down as a result.
What to expect from Heels
During a Heels panel at San Diego Comic-Con on July 23, the cast and crew came together to discuss the show.
While no one revealed too much in terms of plot points, the panel gave a great glimpse into the tone and thematic concerns of the show.
Some key takeaways from Comic-Con:
- Everyone involved has a tremendous respect for the work and artistry that goes into professional wrestling.
- The show balances wrestling content with family drama. It’s wresting centric but by no means exclusively for wrestling fans.
- Heels is about two brothers, but it is also about women working within a male-dominated industry.
- While Waldron joked a lot about the connections between Heels and Loki, there will not be any time travel in Heels. (Sorry to anyone who hoped for Multiverse storylines in the ring!)
That’s all we know about wresting drama Heels, premiering on Starz next month. You can tune in August 15 as it airs live, or watch it streaming anytime.