Ethan Hawke to Play Cop Haunted By His Past in Showtime Crime Series ‘The Whites’

Ethan Hawke attends the premiere of Marvel Studios'
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Ethan Hawke will star in and executive produce The Whites, a new limited series in development at Showtime.

Based on the Richard Price novel of the same name, The Whites is a detective story that argues every detective has their White Whale, aka “the perpetrator who got away because the justice system failed,” according to Variety. Hawke will play former detective Billy Graves, a former star cop who was a member of the lauded group of officers called the “Wild Geese.” Graves leaves the NYPD Homicide unit for the less intense Nightwatch division. But when his White Whale resurfaces in a seemingly straightforward murder case, his life is upended.

Tony winner Jez Butterworth (Ford v. Ferrari, Spectre) will write the series in addition to executive producing. Hawke will EP for his Under the Influence banner alongside wife Ryan Hawke. Knives Out writer Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman, and Nena Rodrigue will executive produce for T-Street, and Price will also serve as executive producer. Civic Center Media production develops the series in association with MRC Television.

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This marks the Moon Knight star’s second limited series at the network following 2020’s The Good Lord Bird, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination, and third TV series since 2020. Hawke executive produced The Good Lord Bird, in which he played American radical abolitionist John Brown. And he played the villain of Moon Knight, Arthur Harrow, who may or may not appear if the Oscar Isaac-led action series gets a Season 2.

While it seems Hawke’s Graves will be more of a hero type searching for justice, his Moon Knight character Harrow sought justice through nefarious means. A cult leader of sorts, Harrow was acting for Egyptian god Ammit as he performed mass killings to rid the Earth of “evil.”

“[Arthur is] an extremely idealistic person, who then held his ideals in such high regard that the means always justified the ends,” the actor told TV Insider ahead of the Moon Knight premiere (check out his video interview with co-star May Calamawy, above).

Hawke’s other notable screen roles include Dead Poets Society, Boyhood, Training Day, and Before Sunrise. In addition to Moon Knight, he was most recently seen in The Northman.

The Whites, Premiere Date, TBA, Showtime