Amell will portray Jack Spade, a ‘heel’ in the local Duffy Wrestling League (DWL) — destined to be the nemesis in their brotherly act — whereas Ludwig portrays the hero aka ‘the face,’ Ace. While Jack is overly ambitious and determined to make the DWL a national wrestling league one day, his brother Ace is barely struggling to keep his own demons at bay outside the ring.
Real-life pro-wrestler and former WWE superstar CM Punk (Phillip Jack Brooks) will also star in the series opposite Friends‘ Bonnie Somerville as part of a wrestling duo — Ricky and Vicky Rabies — who bring a robotic possum to the ring as part of their chaotic act.
Heels faced several production delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, including Amell contracting COVID. Later, Amell suffered a back injury from a wrestling stunt gone wrong on the show’s set — leading to a longer production delay for Season 1. However, the Starz series officially wrapped production for its first season this April.
Amell, a wrestling superfan, has done some time in the ring. In 2015, Amell guest-starred on WWE’s Raw. Later, he participated in 2017’s Survival of the Fittest wrestling event before competing in 2018’s All In. In February 2020, Amell appeared at All Elite Wrestling’s Revolution event accompanying the wrestler Cody Runnels.
The full synopsis for Heels‘ first season reads,
Heels is about the men and women who chase their dreams in the world of small town pro wrestling. Set in a close-knit Georgia community, it follows a family-owned wrestling promotion as two brothers and rivals war over their late father’s legacy. In the ring, somebody must play the good guy and somebody must play their nemesis, the heel. But in the real world, those characters can be hard to live up to — or hard to leave behind.
Written by Michael Waldron, Heels stars Stephen Amell, Alison Luff, Alexander Ludwig, Chris Bauer, Allen Maldonado, James Harrison, Mary McCormack, David James Elliott and Joel Murray. The series premieres on Starz on Aug. 15.