O’Shea Jackson Jr. has been tapped as the lead in Swagger, Apple’s new basketball-themed drama series, in a recasting. The series hails from NBA superstar Kevin Durant and his Thirty Five Ventures, Shots Fired co-creator Reggie Rock Bythewood, Imagine Television Studios and CBS TV Studios, where Imagine TV has a first-look deal. Jackson Jr. takes over the role for Winston Duke, who had to exit the series because of an injury suffered on-set, Deadline has learned.
“Thank you to Imagine, CBS and Apple TV for the opportunity to have collaborated on this project,” said Duke. “As I work toward a full recovery in the coming months, I look forward to joining everyone on future endeavors. Congratulations to O’Shea – I have no doubt that he’ll shine in this role.”
Written and directed by Bythewood, who also serves as showrunner, Swagger is inspired by Durant’s youth basketball experiences. It explores the world of youth basketball, and the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption.
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Jackson stars as Ike, a youth basketball coach and former star player.
Bythewood executive produces with Durant and Brian Grazer for Imagine TV, Rich Kleiman for Thirty Five Ventures and Samantha Corbin Miller.
James Seidman will serve as the Imagine executive on Swagger; Sarah Flynn will serve as executive for Thirty Five Ventures. The drama is co-produced by Imagine TV Studios and CBS TV Studios.
Jackson also is set as the lead in Quibi series The Now. He first appeared on the big screen in Straight Outta Compton, and has since starred in films including Just Mercy, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Den of Thieves.
Variety was first to report the recasting.
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