Chicago Justice has a surprise link to Law & Order

Morgan Jeffery
Photo credit: NBC Universal

From Digital Spy

Chicago Justice is the latest entry in the Chicago TV franchise from legendary TV producer Dick Wolf, creator of Law & Order.

The legal drama – which stars Philip Winchester as prosecutor Peter Stone and Carl Weathers as his boss Mark Jefferies – links up to Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med... AND the various Law & Order series.

"It's kind of dizzying if you try to think about it all, because there are so many and Dick's been doing great work for so long," Winchester tells Digital Spy.

In fact, there's a very direct connection from Chicago Justice to the original Law & Order – Winchester's character is the son of Ben Stone, a character who appeared on L&O between 1990 and 1994.

Photo credit: NBC Universal

[Above: Michael Moriarty as Ben Stone in Law & Order]

Not that Winchester knew that when he shot his first few episodes – his character's original name was 'Michael Makepeace' and the decision to make Peter the offspring of a Law & Order legend came late in the day.

"I'm grateful I didn't know going into it – I was already nervous!" he laughs. "But it's helped so much, because Peter and his father have a complicated relationship – he's always under the shadow of his father and the legend that he was.

"So the pressure was taken off, because I didn't know about it going in, and then once they slipped that in, I thought it was just great layering for this character."

As to whether actor Michael Moriarty – who last played Ben Stone 23 years ago – could be persuaded to appear on Chicago Justice, Winchester says that's a question for Dick Wolf.

"Look, we have thrown that idea around – I think it'll be between him and Dick Wolf. I would love to see that happen, but that's gonna be a decision for those two guys to make. But he's such a fine actor so it would be great to work with him."

Photo credit: NBC Universal

For now, Winchester is more than happy to be sharing the screen with the legendary Carl Weathers. "Carl is a legend!" he enthuses. "This year's the 30th anniversary of Predator and the 40th anniversary of Rocky... I mean, come on!

"He's been a working actor for 50 years – that is unbelievable – and just to hang out with someone like that, to listen to the stories... and then to brainstorm and come up with ideas for these new characters, it's pretty amazing."

For Weathers, two things appealed about Chicago Justice – again, the opportunity to work with Wolf, but also the chance to play "the second most powerful man in Chicago – after the Mayor".

"Mark Jefferies is a politician – and when you mix political aspirations with someone who wants to utilise the law to put away the bad guys, there could be a bit of conflict of interest there.

Photo credit: NBC Universal

"But it's also pretty cool to be part of the Chicago universe, the Chicago family – we're all part of the crossover world. I've just done a day on Chicago PD and to work with those actors, it's a little shot in the arm. You get to step into another arena and it's kind of a perk.

"I've been really fortunate that I've had a chance to do some work that people have enjoyed over the years. Now to be involved in something that from the get-go has the stamp of success all over it... there's nothing like that."

In fact, Weathers is keen to shoot more crossovers and work with as many of the cast from across the Chicago series as possible. "I'm ready to throw down with any and all!" he chuckles.

From the man who was Apollo Creed, we'd expect nothing less.

Chicago Justice premieres tonight (Thursday, March 30) at 9pm only on Universal Channel.

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