Don’t Kill Sean Bean

Sean Bean

Sean Bean is many things to many people: Emmy Award winner for Best Actor, BAFTA and Saturn Award nominee, father, husband, Yorkshireman. But most of all, Sean Bean is killed. One of the most killed actors around, in fact. When he is not being shot, stabbed or blown up, pulled apart by horses, or decapitated by Ilyn Payne, or filled full of arrows by Lurtz the Mighty Orc, or stampeded off of Dover Cliff by a herd of death-crazed farm animals, or having the 900-ton beam-steering mechanism of the Arecibo Radio Telescope dropped on top of him, Sean Bean can be an amazing actor. Don’t kill Sean Bean.

Yet-to-be-spectacularly-killed Sean Bean is set to appear next month in a new TV crime-drama series produced by Fox 21 for TNT called Legends. The 55-year-old actor plays a FBI investigator, Martin Odum, in the agency’s Deep Cover Operations division. Odum has the amazing ability to transform himself into someone else for every undercover job. When a stranger tells Odum that he is not who he thinks he is, the professional shapeshifter begins a quest to find out his true identity. The series is based on the best-selling spy novel of Robert Littell, Legends, published in 2005. The first of ten episodes of season one is set to premiere on TNT on August 13.

Sean Bean fans are excited about his starring role, but apprehensive. His TV appearance in Legends follows on the heels of his performance in the action-packed and under-rated crime thriller Missing (2012) where he played CIA agent Paul Winstone. Fans of international crime thrillers loved Missing but the show was canceled by ABC after its first season due to mixed critical reviews. Sean Bean’s character was killed in the first episode in a spectacular car-bomb explosion. Unsurprised fans rated his death a five on the Sean Bean Death Scale of one to ten. The low score was attributed to fans not being able to see the actor’s legendary and well-practiced “death grimace.” The actor is known to prefer longer death sequences, like that of Boromir in Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

At a Q&A press conference for Legends this summer, critics asked executive producer David Wilcox whether Sean Bean had been cast because show producers liked to kill him off. “It’s not the main reason,” Wilcox answered, “but it’s certainly kind of fun benefit that it’s gonna be a question.” The actor, meanwhile, assured critics that he was going to be on the TV series for a while. Disheartened Sean Bean fans have noticed that Martin Odum is an anagram of I AM NOT MURD …

Perhaps not surprisingly, Sean Bean has been cast in one of the greatest death scenes of all history. The actor has been selected to play the title role in Tiago Mesquita’s film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Caesar which is expected to be released to theaters in 2015. Sean Bean fans are understandably excited to see the actor alive and relatively dagger-less for at least four acts. When Caesar’s death does come around, it is certain to rate highly on the Sean Bean Death Scale. Until then, don’t kill Sean Bean.

By Steve Killings

Deadline Hollywood

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