Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) has signed on for a key role in HBO’s pilot about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers. Shannon will play Jerry Buss, majority owner of the Lakers during a period highlighted by the team’s Showtime era during the 1980s. The Untitled Showtime Lakers Project (fka Showtime) is set to start production next month.
Written by Max Borenstein (Godzilla), the project is based on Jeff Pearlman’s nonfiction book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. Executive producer Adam McKay is directing the pilot, which chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that won five NBA titles and defined its era, both on and off the court.
Shannon’s Jerry Buss is a self-made millionaire whose success has only amplified his proclivity for risk. Buss redefines American sports, celebrity and wealth by transforming the Lakers into a dynasty, but his house of cards threatens to collapse on him — and the people he loves most.
Shannon joins previously announced Jason Clarke, who portrays Jerry West.
McKay is executive producing with Kevin Messick, Borenstein, Jim Hecht, who co-wrote the story, Jason Shuman and Scott Stephens. Rodney Barnes is co-executive producer.
Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony-nominated actor Shannon next will be seen starring in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. Later this year, he’ll be seen in Rian Johnson’s original murder mystery, Knives Out, set for release in November. He’ll soon begin shooting Howard Deutch’s romantic, coming-of-age drama, Swing. Shannon’s television credits include AMC miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, HBO’s Room 104, Boardwalk Empire and Fahrenheit 451 and Paramount Network’s Waco. He’s repped by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment Group, and Morris, Yorn, Barnes.