Legendary actor Ian McShane will play the lead antagonist in HELIUM Pictures’ drama Last King of The Cross which is being produced for Paramount+ Australia and distributed globally by Cineflix Rights, it has been announced.

Renowned for his outstanding characterisations of anti-heroes and charming heavies, Mr McShane will bring to life the fictional character of Ezra Shipman - the reigning King of The Cross.  

Wily and much-celebrated, Ezra has a gift for all things business - be that the stock market or overseeing the illegal gambling, prostitution, and strip joints that Kings Cross has been famous for since the Vietnam War.  

For three generations Ezra has been the most powerful and most feared man in Sydney - but now he is confronting his looming mortality. For all his power and material success, and all he has had to do to maintain it, there is no one to continue his legacy. 

Enter John Ibrahim (Lincoln Younes) - an adolescent facsimile of Ezra: young, brash, ambitious, and intelligent. Seeing the opportunity to extend his reign, Ezra takes the young John into his inner circle as his acolyte… but who is exploiting who?

With filming set to commence in Sydney in May, Last King of The Cross (10x60) is a HELIUM Pictures production for Paramount+ Australia with Cineflix Rights as the exclusive international distribution partner. Produced by Mark Fennessy and Karl Zwicky, the elevated serialised drama is by multi award-winning writer/director Kieran Darcy-Smith who will also direct.

Ian McShane will next be seen reprising his role as Winston opposite Keanu Reeves in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4. He was most recently seen as Mr. Wednesday in the hit Starz television series American Gods. He also served as Executive Producer on the series which is the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel. McShane previously won a Golden Globe Award for his performance as Al Swearengen in the HBO western series Deadwood before reprising the iconic role in the subsequent film, Deadwood: The Movie.

His screen career is comprised of notable television and film roles, beginning with Ralph Thomas’ BAFTA-nominated 1962 feature The Wild and the Willing and includes Pirates of the Caribbean: on Stranger Tides, Snow White and the Huntsman, Hellboy, Sexy Beast, Ray Donovan, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, Pillars of the Earth, Kings, and he produced and starred in the acclaimed series Lovejoy for the BBC.

Producer and HELIUM Founder Mark Fennessy said: "From Winston to Blackbeard, Al Swearengen to Mr Wednesday, Ian McShane's on-screen characterisations are the epitome of compelling masterpieces, and we cannot wait for the world to meet Ezra Shipman."

James Durie, Head of Scripted, Cineflix Rights said: “Ian McShane is admired by audiences around the world for his powerful, intense performances in some of the biggest dramas of the past two decades. Having him join Last King of The Cross as Ezra is testament to the power of the story Kieran and Mark have created and will really give the series huge appeal for our global buyers.” 

Paramount Australia’s SVP Content & Programming, Daniel Monaghan said: “We are incredibly thrilled to have an actor of Ian McShane’s calibre and body of work, join our very own rising star Lincoln Younes, to tell this unique and captivating Australian story set amongst one of our country’s most iconic and notorious backdrops.”

Mr McShane is represented by ICM Partners, Independent Talent Group, Gallant Management, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.