HBO‘s Los Angeles Lakers series just cast its version of Richard Pryor and Jack Nicholson, with Mike Epps and Max E. Williams playing the two celebrity fans of the team per a report from Deadline. Epps is finally getting the chance to play the famed comedian over seven years after being announced as the lead in a biopic set to be directed by Lee Daniels that failed to make it out of development hell.
Three other notable additions have also been to the cast, with Carina Conti set as Lakers choreographer and future star Paula Abdul, while Mariama Diallo will recur as world famous supermodel Iman, who was married to power forward Spencer Haywood betwen 1977 and 1987.
The project is based on Jeff Pearlman‘s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, chronicling the lives of the dynasty’s major players both on and off the court. Co-creator Max Borenstein, best known for being involved in the scripts for every installment of Legendary and Warner Bros. MonsterVerse, is penning the miniseries and is listed as executive producer, although he does boast previous experience in the biographical realm having scripted last year’s Worth, which starred Michael Keaton as Kenneth Feinberg.
Fellow co-creator Adam McKay is producing alongside Kevin Messick through their Hyperobject Industries banner and will direct the pilot episode, with production kicking off this past April. The filmmaker has made a seamless transition into more dramatic territory, and is no slouch when it comes to infusing real-world events with biting satire having picked up a total of five Academy Award nominations for writing, directing and producing The Big Short and Vice, winning Best Adapted Screenplay for the former. Jim Hecht is co-writing with Borenstein and also executive producing, in addition to Jason Shuman, Scott Stephens and Rodney Barnes.
To say the cast is stacked would be putting it lightly, when the four new members of the ensemble are joining a roster that already includes, but is in no way limited to; Jason Segel as Paul Westhead, Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, Sally Field as Jessie Buss, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tracy Letts as Jack McKinney, and Bo Burnham as Larry Bird.
There’s no word on when HBO‘s Los Angeles Lakers series is set to premiere, but shooting is scheduled to last until October, so somewhere around the middle of next year feels like a safe bet.