‘Special Ops: Lioness’ First Look: Zoe Saldaña And Nicole Kidman Star In Taylor Sheridan’s Paramount+ Spy Series

With a powerhouse duo of Zoe Saldaña and Nicole Kidman, Paramount+ doesn’t need much else to sell the upcoming spy series, Special Ops: Lioness. However, since the show is from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan it’s guaranteed to get a lot of attention, anyway. And now Vanity Fair has our first look at the show, which is also led by actress Laysla De Oliveira.

Lioness is based on an actual CIA program, and centers on a young Marine recruited to befriend a terrorist’s daughter to take down the organization from within.

Saldaña, who plays Joe, a station chief overseeing an all-female spy unit, was reluctant to join the series, feeling somewhat intimidated by working on a Sheridan project. That’s shocking considering her blockbuster experience on Avatar, Star Trek, and of course, Guardians of the Galaxy.

“He sent me a pilot he wanted me to read, and if I responded well to it, he really wanted to continue writing this character around me,” Saldaña said. “When you get a call from someone like Taylor Sheridan…. You work really hard, expecting those calls. And when you get those calls, you don’t believe them. I’m known for being the queen of sabotaging myself. I told him that I just wasn’t ready,” the actress continued. “I was scared shitless, in other words. I was just like, ‘I’m going to fail. I just do science fiction. I don’t do this.’”

“It was Taylor Sheridan. Nicole Kidman was already attached to produce, and she was going to play a part in it as well. So obviously, that was a dream for me.”

You can read a lot more about the series, plus the roles played by Kidman, De Oliveira, and co-stars Morgan Freeman and Michael Kelly.

Lioness premieres on Paramount+ this summer.


Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.