Oscar-nominated Rachel Morrison (Black Panther, Fruitvale Station) has been tapped to direct Hightown, Starz’s drama series from Rebecca Cutter, Gary Lennon and Jerry Bruckheimer TV. In addition, Shane Harper (Code Black, Happyland) and Atkins Estimond (The Resident, StartUp) have joined the cast. Production is set to begin in March.

Written and executive produced by Cutter, Hightown is a crime drama set amid the drug trade on Cape Cod, touched off when a body washes ashore and discovered by an irreverent National Marine Fisheries Service officer, Jackie Quinones (Monica Raymund), who is determined to help solve the murder even if the state cops want her nowhere near the case. James Badge Dale also stars.

Courtesy of Starz

Harper plays Junior, the son of a Cape Cod fisherman who’s 90 days clean, but as he tries to stay sober, he engages in illegal activity to earn enough money to reunite him with his girlfriend and their baby. Estimond portrays Osito, a hardened gangster who has a soft spot for Junior and cultivates a relationship with his soldier-in-training.

Gary Lennon will executive produce with Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed from JBTV.

Morrison became the first female director of photography to be nominated for an Oscar for best cinematography in 2018 for her work on Mudbound. She also served as director of photography for Fruitvale Station and the Oscar-nominated Marvel blockbuster Black Panther. She also worked on films Cake and Dope. Her television credits include American Crime and Quantico.

“Rachel is more than ready to set the tone, atmosphere and authenticity of ‘Hightown,’” said Carmi Zlotnik, President of Programming for Starz. “Rachel is a true trailblazer whose experience and remarkable creative vision have proved to be both impactful and impressive. I can’t wait to see the results from Rachel, Rebecca and the entire cast working together.”

Morrison is repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion. Harper is repped by WME and JR McGinnis at Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson. Estimond is repped by Buchwald, People Store, Tassell Talent Group and Meyers & Downs.