EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie, Beasts of the Southern Wild) is set as a lead alongside O’Shea Jackson Jr. in Swagger, Apple’s new basketball-themed drama series. The series is from NBA superstar Kevin Durant and his Thirty Five Ventures, Shots Fired co-creator Reggie Rock Bythewood, Imagine Television Studios and CBS TV Studios.
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. Off the court, the show reveals what it’s like to grow up in America.
Wallis will play Crystal, a young, top female basketball 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.
Wallis nabbed a Best Actress Oscar nomination at age 9 for her debut performance in 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild. She also starred as the titular character in Sony’s Annie remake, with Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz, and appeared in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave. Other credits include The Prophet, Fathers and Daughters and the animated film Trolls. She most recently was seen on TV in a recurring role on ABC’s Black-ish.
Wallis is repped by ICM Partners, Moxie Artists Management and attorney James Feldman at Lichter, Grossman.