Eduardo Franco (Booksmart) and Patrick Gibson (The OA) are set as the leads in USA Network’s Masters of Doom pilot, a drama based on David Kushner’s nonfiction book, from James and Dave Franco’s Ramona Films, The Gotham Group and UCP. John Karna (Valley of the Boom), Jane Ackermann (Neptune) and Siobhan Williams (Deadly Class) round out the series regular cast. Peter Friedman (Succession) is set to recur, and Rhys Thomas (Documentary Now!, Saturday Night Live) has been tapped to direct.
Written and executive produced by WGA Award winner Tom Bissell (Gears of War), Masters of Doom is the true story of two computer geniuses in an obscure corner of America who, along with a group of rebellious misfits, created one of the biggest franchise hits of the ’90s, the video game Doom. Franco and Gibson play best friends who became bitter rivals, as they created a video game empire and transformed pop culture forever.
Franco’s John Romero is a brilliant young programmer and designer determined to become the video game industry’s first rock star.
Gibson’s John Carmack is a self-taught genius whose unparalleled programming skill allows him to help create the first-person-shooter genre – and lay the groundwork for the rise of virtual reality.
Karna will play Tom Hall, a tragically lovable young game designer who becomes the heart and soul of the two Johns’ groundbreaking company, iD Software.
Ackermann will portray Hannah Romero, a young wife and mother whose support for her husband, John Romero, is pushed to its breaking point by his unrelenting focus on games.
Williams will play Stevie Case, a brash and charismatic young woman who becomes one of the first female professional gamers—and John Romero’s girlfriend.
Friedman will recur as Al Vekovius, the 1987 Shreveport Businessman of the Year, whose Louisiana company, Softdisk, brings the two Johns together and sponsors their first forays as professional game designers.
Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Eric Robinson and Jeremy Bell executive produce via The Gotham Group, along with James Franco, Dave Franco, Vince Jolivette and Elizabeth Haggard of Ramona Films, and Kushner. D.J. Goldberg of The Gotham Group will serve as co-executive producer. UCP is the studio.
Franco is best known for his role as Theo in the Olivia Wilde-directed feature Booksmart, as well as his role as Jeremy in the feature The Package, directed by Jake Szymanski. He’ll next be seen in feature The Binge directed by Jeremy Garelick. Franco recurred on the first season of the series American Vandal, and his other television credits include Adam Ruins Everything, You’re the Worst and The Skinny. Franco is repped by UTA and Mosaic.
Gibson has appeared in series/miniseries The OA, The White Princess and Guerrilla. Additional credits include Tolkien, The Darkest Minds, In a Relationship and What Richard Did. Gibson is repped by ARG in the UK and ICM Partners.
Karna was seen opposite Lucas Hedges and Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, produced by Scott Rudin. He also starred in limited series Valley of the Boom and Dirty John, and previously starred as the lead on Scream. Karna is repped by Gersh, Coronel Group, and McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP.
Ackermann made her acting debut in the independent feature film Neptune, directed by Derek Kimball, which premiered at Slamdance Film Festival. Her other credits include the short film In His House and the horror anthology series 60 Seconds to Die. Ackermann is repped by Innovative Artists.
Williams recurred on Heartland and Level Up and had a lead role in the feature film Flicka: Country Pride, which garnered her a Young Artist Award nomination. She most recently wrapped production on Sacred Lies. Her film credits include Forsaken, Adventures in Public School and Welcome to Marwen. Williams is repped by Alchemy Entertainment, Play Management and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer.
Friedman is currently a series regular on the Emmy-nominated series Succession. Additionally, he has recurred on The Affair, The Path, and High Maintenance. Friedman is repped by Lasher Group, Cornerstone Talent and Felker, Toczek, Suddleson, Abramson.
Emmy-winning director/producer Thomas is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live and Documentary Now!, which he co-created and directed along with Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers. Thomas most recently directed the pilot for the upcoming series Chad starring Nasim Pedrad. On the feature side, Thomas is currently developing Captain Infinity and is in post-production on John Mulaney’s upcoming stand-up special. He is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Ziffren Brittenham.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.