EXCLUSIVE: With a well-known title and formidable lead cast, Amazon’s The Last Tycoon pilot has been a strong contender for a series pickup. Now the project, toplined by Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Rosemarie DeWitt and Lily Collins, has been ordered to series by the streaming service, I have learned. It comes from Sony TV’s TriStar Television. I hear Amazon’s other drama pilot from the batch, The Interestings, is not going forward.
Written and directed by Billy Ray based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon was inspired by the life of film mogul Irving Thalberg, on whom the book’s protagonist Monroe Stahr was based. The project centers on Stahr (Bomer), Hollywood’s first wunderkind studio executive in the 1930s as he climbs to the height of power pitting him against his mentor and current head of the studio, the brawny, imposing, charming and vain Pat Brady (Grammer), a character based on Louis B. Mayer. Having come from the streets, Brady has no intention of returning to his misfortune, and is determined to make sure his studio is successful, no matter what personal morals he compromises. Dewitt plays Pat Brady’s wife, Rose Brady, who may be involved with Stahr.
In The Last Tycoon‘s 1976 big-screen adaptation directed by Elia Kazan and written by Harold Pinter, the roles of Stahr and Brady were played by Robert De Niro and Robert Mitchum, respectively.
Bomer, Grammer and DeWitt all have toplined TV series before, USA’s White Collar (Bomer), Frasier and Boss, among others (Grammer) and Standoff (DeWitt). This marks Emmy winner Grammer’s return to drama series following his Golden Globe-winning turn on Boss. Bomer also won a Golden Globe, for HBO’s The Normal Heart, and recently co-starred on American Horror Story: Hotel. DeWitt has been focused on movies for the past few years, recently starring in Poltergeist. Collins comes from feature background, with starring roles in Mirror Mirror and The Mortal Instruments.
Ray executive produces The Last Tycoon alongside Chris Keyser, who serve as showrunners, as well as Josh Maurer, David Stern and Alix Witlin. Pulitzer-winning author and F.Scott Fitzgerald scholar A. Scott Berg served as consulting producer on the pilotThis marks TriStar TV’s second series at Amazon, joining Good Girls Revolt.