HBO Max's Julia Child Drama Finds A New Lead To Replace Joan Cusack

Joan Cusack was all set to play famous author and chef Julia Child in an upcoming HBO Max pilot, but since she left the project, the show needed a new cook in the kitchen. Now the fledgling streaming service has found a new star for the show. Get the details below.

British actress Sarah Lancashire (Coronation StreetHappy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) will step in to replace Cusack as the lead role in HBO Max's Julia Child TV show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show, which is called Julia, "is inspired by Child's life and her TV show, The French Chef, which essentially invented food television. Through Child and her singular can-do spirit, it explores an evolving time in American history — the emergence of a new social institution called public television, feminism and the women's movement, the nature of celebrity and America's cultural growth. At its heart, the show is a portrait of a marriage with an evolving and complicated power dynamic."

After publishing Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Child appeared on a book review show in 1962 and taught viewers how to make an omelette. Her appearance went over so well that she ended up getting her own series, which launched her to a new level of fame.

Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) will play Julia's husband, Paul Child, who provided photographs for at least one of Julia's books. Brittany Bradford (Macbeth on Broadway) plays Alice, an associate producer of WGBH-TV's I've Been Reading who vouches for Child after her successful appearance on the book review program. Bebe Neuwirth (Madam Secretary) will play Avis, Child's best friend, and Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet) plays Simone "Simca" Beck, one of the co-authors of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

THR says the cast also includes "Fran Kranz (Dollhouse) as Russ, the producer of I've Been Reading who reluctantly joins Child's cooking show; Fiona Glascott (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) as Judith, Child's editor; and Jefferson Mays (I Am the Night) as Albert, the host of I've Been Reading." Party of Five co-creator Chris Keyser is serving as the showrunner, while Daniel Goldfarb (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tyrant) wrote the pilot.

I'm not familiar with Sarah Lancashire's work, but she certainly has some big shoes to fill, since Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for playing Julia Child in Norah Ephron's 2009 movie Julie and Julia.