Viola Davis Viola Davis

Viola Davis has landed the leading role in ABC's How to Get Away With Murder, has confirmed.

The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller, from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers' production company Shondaland, tells the story of a group of ambitious law students and their brilliant, mysterious criminal defense professor (Davis) who become entangled in a murder plot that will rock their entire university and change the course of their lives.

Get the latest pilot season news

The two-time Academy Award nominee will play Annalise Dewitt, who is described as brilliant, passionate, charmismatic and dangerous.

Grey's Anatomy producer Peter Nowalk will write and executive-produce with Rhimes and Beers. As previously announced, Matt McGorry, Emily Owens, M.D. alum Aja Naomi King, Jack Falahee, Alfred Enoch (the Harry Potter films), Charlie Weber (90210) and Karla Souza will also star.

Davis, who scored Oscar nominations for The Help and Doubt, most recently appeared on TV on United States of Tara. Her other credits include Law & Order: SVU and City of Angels.