On the heels of another dismal season for the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s probably a little painful to relive the glory days of Hollywood’s home team. That is what Oscar winner Adam McKay (Vice) is doing with Showtime, a drama series project that has received a pilot order at HBO.
Written by Max Borenstein (Godzilla), the true-story project is based on Jeff Pearlman’s nonfiction book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.
McKay will direct the pilot for Showtime, a fast-break series chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s L.A. Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined its era, both on and off the court.
With Pat Riley as coach and Magic Johnson and Kareen Abdul-Jabbar as stars, the Lakers made seven trips to the NBA Finals in the eight-year stretch from 1982-89, winning the title four times. Along with the glory of the Showtime Lakers, the book takes a look at the big personalities and the behind-the-scenes drama often associated with assembling a dream team.
“Jeff Pearlman’s book and Max Borenstein’s script of the story of the Showtime Lakers really knocked me over. Sexism, racism, tragedy, redemption, no-look passes and a giant cultural shift in America,” McKay said. “I can’t wait to start filming.”
The pilot is casting, raising curiosity who would play Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, Riley and the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Production is scheduled to begin this summer.
McKay is executive producing through his yet-to-be-named company he has launched after recently parting ways with longtime producing partner Will Ferrell and dissolving their Gary Sanchez Prods. Joining McKay at his new company is former Gary Sanchez Prods. executive Kevin Messick, who will executive produce Showtime alongside McKay, Borenstein and Jason Shuman. Jim Hecht co-wrote the story and executive produces.
At HBO, McKay is executive producer and director on the well-received drama series Succession, which has been renewed for a second season. It earned him a 2018 DGA Award. McKay’s long history at HBO goes back to Funny or Die Presents… and Eastbound & Down.
McKay’s most recent feature, Vice, starring Christian Bale as former Vice President Dick Cheney, received eight Academy Award nominations. He won an Adapted Screenplay Oscar for The Big Short.
Borenstein wrote the screenplays for Legendary’s “Monsterverse” franchise: Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island (2017), Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (2019) and Kong v Godzilla (2020). His next film as writer and producer is What Is Life Worth. In TV, Borenstein recently created The Terror: Infamy for AMC.
Hecht most recently sold his pitch Fairy Tale Ending to Universal alongside Tracy McMillan. He will write the script and is set to produce the female ensemble comedy starring Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer. Additionally, Paramount Players recently acquired Hecht’s script Unboxing.
McKay was reppped in the deal by WME and Ziffren Brittenham; Borenstein by UTA, Anonymous Content and attorney Eric Feig; Jim Hechtby WME, Gotham Group and Del Shaw.