Will ABC’s drama pilot The Kingmakers be a star maker? After a lengthy search, the project has cast newcomer Gus Halper as the lead. Written and executive produced by Sallie Patrick, Kingmakers, from ABC Studios, centers on Eli (Halper), a young man whose sister Julia is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university. He adopts a new identity to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society – consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death.

Halper is a heartthrob in the making — the 2014 University of North Carolina School of the Arts graduate played Romeo in his drama school’s production of the Shakespeare classic last spring. He is repped by Gersh and Authentic Talent Management.