Captain Phillips writer Billy Ray is set to write and direct The Last Tycoon, an HBO drama series project based on F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s final unfinished novel. Party Of Five co-creator Chris Keyser is attached as showrunner to the project, which hails from Sony Pictures TV and I hear garnered interest from five networks, landing at HBO with penalty. Inspired by the life of film mogul Irving Thalberg, on whom protagonist Monroe Stahr was based, The Last Tycoon centers on Stahr, Hollywood’s first wunderkind studio executive in the 1930’s as he climbs to the height of power pitting him against his mentor and current head of the studio Pat Brady, a character based on Louis B. Mayer. With Stahr as a focal point, the series delves into the true violence, sex and towering ambition of Hollywood in the 30’s. Ray and Keyser executive produce with Perri Kipperman, Josh Maurer, David Stern and Alix Witlin. Ray, repped by CAA, Management 360 and Peter Nichols, will direct the upcoming The Secret In Their Eyes and Departure. Keyser also is with CAA.