Paul Giamatti & Damian Lewis To Topline Showtime Pilot ‘Billions’

Emmy-winning Homeland star Damian Lewis is returning to Showtime with a lead role in another drama project. Lewis and fellow Emmy winner Paul Giamatti have been tapped as the two leads in Showtime’s Wall Street drama pilot Billions, which will be directed by Neil Burger (Divergent).

Showtime logoWritten and executive produced by Brian Koppelman and David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin, Billions is a fictional drama that takes a close look at the world of high finance by tracking the approaching collision between two titanic figures — the hard charging, whip-smart U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhodes (Giamatti), and the brilliant, ambitious hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Lewis). Filming is slated to begin in New York in early 2015.

Billions reunites several key auspices of the 2006 movie The Illusionist, which was written and directed by Burger, co-starred Giamatti and was produced by Koppelman and Levien.

Additionally, Giamatti co-starred in the HBO original movie Too Big To Fail – also about the financial system– which was based on the best-selling book by Sorkin.

Lewis, who will next be seen in the BBC miniseries Wolf Hall, is repped by UTA, Markham Froggatt & Irwin and attorney Karl Austen. Giamatti, whose recurring role on Downton Abbey earned him an Emmy nomination this year, is with UTA, manager Perri Kipperman and attorneys Robert Offer and Shelby Wieser.

The deals with Giamatti and Lewis come on the heels of Showtime casting Steve Coogan to succeed the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as the lead in its comedy Happyish.

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