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Dennis Quaid to Play Serial Killer in Paramount+ Series ‘Happy Face’

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Dennis Quaid has signed on for a leading role in the upcoming Paramount+ series “Happy Face,” Variety has learned.

Quaid will appear alongside previously announced star Annaleigh Ashford. The series is inspired by the podcast of the same name from iHeartMedia and Melissa Moore, the book “Shattered Silence” written by Moore with M. Bridget Cook, and Moore’s true-life story.

In real life, Moore discovered at 15 that her father was the serial killer known as “Happy Face,” due to the smiley faces he drew on evidence where he bragged about his crimes. As an adult, she has changed her name and guarded her secret while her father has been serving life in prison.

The official description for the series states that it jumps off from Moore’s real life story. “Happy Face (Quaid) is an incarcerated serial killer who also is Melissa’s (Ashford) once-beloved father,” the description reads. “After decades of no contact, he finally finds a way to force himself back into his daughter’s life. In a race against the clock, Melissa must find out if an innocent man is going to be put to death for a crime her father committed. Throughout, she discovers the impact her father had on his victims’ families and must face a reckoning of her own identity.”

This will now be the second Paramount+ series in which Quaid has starred. He recently appeared in the series “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” at the streamer. He has previously starred on shows like “Merry Happy Whatever,” “The Art of More,” and “Vegas.” He is primarily known for his film roles, having led features such as “The Rookie,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Traffic,” “Frequency,” “The Parent Trap,” “The Right Stuff,” “Breaking Away,” and ”Midway” among many others.

Quaid is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Hansen Jacobson Teller.

“Happy Face” will begin production on its eight-episode first season this spring in Vancouver. It is slated to premiere on Paramount+ in 2025.

Jennifer Cacicio is the writer, executive producer, and showrunner on the series. Robert and Michelle King executive produce under their King Size Productions banner. Liz Glotzer of King Size also executive produces along with Moore, iHeartMedia’s Conal Byrne, Will Pearson, and Jordana Mollick. Michael Showalter will direct the first episode and executive produce. CBS Studios, where the Kings are under an overall deal, will produce.

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