HBO’s comedy pilot Max is recasting its lead. Zoe Kazan has been tapped for the title role in the project written by Murray Miller and directed by Girls creator Lena Dunham. She replaces Lisa Joyce, who originally was cast in the role. Since Joyce landed the lead in Max, her other HBO comedy pilot, Issa Rae’s Insecure, got picked up to series. Joyce will now focus on Insecure, which has a strong momentum, having landed a series order shortly after the pilot was delivered.
Meanwhile, Kazan too will be pulling double HBO pilot duty — she also co-stars in David Simon’s The Deuce.
Max is described as a raucous comedy set in 1963 about the struggles of second-wave feminism, centered on an ambitious magazine writer, Maxine Woodruff (Kazan), looking for liberation. Maxine is an enthusiastic, if misguided, low-level magazine employee who stumbles into the forefront of a civil rights movement both she and the world may not be ready for. I hear there were creative differences on the future of the Maxine character, which contributed to the casting change.
Executive producing Max are a quartet of Girls executive producers, creator/star Dunham, Miller, Jenni Konner and Ilene Landress.
Kazan has an existing relationship with Dunham and HBO. At the pay cable network, she also co-starred in the Emmy-winning miniseries Olive Kitteridge and recurred on HBO comedy series Bored To Death. She is repped by UTA and Washington Square Films.