We still hear a lot about series like Barry, Stranger Things and Star Trek: Picard whose future seasons were delayed because of COVID-19, but we don’t seem to hear quite as much about new series struggling to deliver their first season because of the pandemic. The Power is one such series and Leslie Mann has been attached to lead the sci-fi thriller for three years, but that’s just come to an end. The Knocked Up star is exiting the series and she’s not alone — Tim Robbins is leaving the show as well.
Deadline was the first to report that both Leslie Mann and and Tim Robbins were exiting Amazon Prime Video’s The Power, a feminist sci-fi thriller set in a world in which women develop the ability to fire electric bolts from their hands and so become the dominant sex. The outlet did not give a reason for the actors’ departures, though it seems at least plausible the production’s delays are responsible. When Mann was first cast as Margot Cleary-Lopez — the mayor of Seattle in The Power — Rainn Wilson (The Office) was on board to play the male lead Daniel Dandon, Washington state’s governor and Cleary-Lopez’s antagonist. Unfortunately, production was delayed long enough that Wilson became unavailable and Robbins stepped in to play Dandon.
Back in 2020, Deadline announced some of the supporting cast that had boarded The Power including John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!), Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso), Ria Zmitrowicz (Three Girls), Heather Agyepong (This Is Going to Hurt), Nico Hiraga (Booksmart), and Daniela Vega (A Fantastic Woman). The series has also recruited Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2) and Eddie Marsan (The World’s End). There’s no word on whether or not all of those actors are still attached, or if they’ve exited along with Leslie Mann.
The series Leslie Mann is exiting is an adaptation of the 2016 novel of the same name by Naomi Alderman. Along with being tapped for screen adaptation, The Power was named one of the top 10 books of 2017 by the New York Times.
It’s particularly unfortunate that The Power continues to suffer setbacks such as Leslie Mann’s and others’ departures when you consider that the viewing world seems primed for a series just like it. The dystopian series The Handmaid’s Tale will soon be releasing its fifth season, and some are predicting it will deliver the end of the story. The Power sounds like the perfect story to fill the void. In fact Reed Morano — who directed The Handmaid’s Tale‘s first 3 episodes — will direct The Power.
If, like Rainn Wilson, Leslie Mann exited The Power because of scheduling then either it isn’t for a screen project or it’s for one that hasn’t been announced yet. Mann has had a productive year, starring in her husband’s Netflix comedy film The Bubble as well as in the acclaimed Apple TV+ dramedy series Cha Cha Real Smooth. But The Power was the only screen project she was attached to for the future.