Vikings Star Alexander Ludwig Cast as Co-Lead Opposite Stephen Amell in Starz' Pro Wrestling Drama Heels

Alexander Ludwig has been cast as the co-lead for the upcoming Starz series Heels, according to a new report from Deadline. The eight-episode drama series will Ludwig play opposite Stephen Amell fresh off his run as Oliver Queen on Arrow and will center around the world of independent professional wrestling.

The synopsis for the show via Deadline reads as follows — "Heels is 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, Jack (Amell) and Ace (Ludwig) Spade, war over their late father's legacy. In the ring, somebody must play the good guy (Ludwig) and somebody must play their nemesis, the heel (Amell). But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind.

"In the ring, Ludwig's Ace Spade is the beloved hero and star of the DWA. Things are more difficult in the real world, where he struggles to reconcile his town idol status with his insecurities and demons. He's brash, cocky and self-destructive — yet so damn charming and good-looking that you can almost forgive him. If he can keep it together, he'll have a ticket out of Duffy and to the big time. But that's a big if."

The show will be written by Michael Waldron and feature Mike O'Malley as the showrunner. Amell was announced for the project back in mid-August.

"In the ring, Amell's Jack Spade is the charismatic villain, or heel, of the Duffy Wrestling Association (DWA)," Deadline's description of Amell's character reads. "In the real world, he's its hard-working owner, a husband and father trying to make ends meet while fighting to realize his impossible dreams. He has the mind of an artist in the body of a warrior, and a Steve Jobs-ian need for perfection -- and for control. He says he'll do whatever it takes to build the DWA into an empire. Will he go so far as to risk his marriage, or his relationship with his brother?"

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As a close friend of All Elite Wrestling star and executive vice president Cody Rhodes, Amell has actually stepped inside a wrestling ring on three occasions. He teamed up with Neville to face Rhodes and Wade Barrett at WWE's SummerSlam event in 2015, wrestled in a nine-man tag match for Ring of Honor in November 2017 and faced Christopher Daniels at the All In event in September 2018.

Photo: History Channel