The Downton Abbey actor will star as Clark, a man who goes from being a cop to working as a detective and ultimately a police commissioner, reports Deadline.
Ryan Phillippe was originally cast in the role, but he left the project amicably last month due to his concerns about committing to a network drama series.
Phillippe's departure apparently prompted a lengthy auditioning process until James was cast in the role.
James's previous acting roles include Downton Abbey, where he played Kemal Pamuk, a Turkish house guest who died in Lady Mary's bed during the first season.
He also starred in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and this year's Underworld: Awakening.
Watch the trailer of Underworld: Awakening below: