Spike Lee to Direct DA BRICK, a New HBO Series Based on Mike Tyson’s Youth

     June 21, 2011


Back in 2010, Mike Tyson appeared in a guest role on Entourage.  Apparently, while on set, Tyson and series creator Doug Ellin had a conversation.  Ellin said that during the conversation, “Mike asked me, why don’t do with my life what we did with Mark’s life?”

According to Deadline, instead of taking the suggestion as a joke, Ellin instead set about crafting a dramatic series around Mike Tyson’s experience growing up as a boxer in an urban environment.  After developing the project with his production partner, Jim Lefkowitz, Ellin passed writing duties to John Ridley who then convinced Spike Lee to direct the project.

Hit the jump to read more about the series, titled Da Brick.

doug-ellin-imageThough the series is still in development, HBO appears to be ready to put its weight behind it, issuing a casting call for young black actors who can box.  The network’s apparent excitement over the series isn’t surprising.  Both Ellin and Spike are in good graces with the network (Ellin for the aforementioned Entourage and Lee for a pair of documentary projects based around New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: When the Levees Broke and If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise).  All of the players involved in the series development — Ellin, Lefkowitz, Ridley, Lee, and Tyson — as well as Tyson’s current wife, and Azim Spicer are all slated as producers on the eventual show.

While Tyson has recently been seen in comedic cameos (The Hangover), the idea of a drama set around his life could make for some compelling television.  After watching the doc Tyson, I have to say that Tyson’s account of his own teen years was intriguing and could make for a great TV show, especially when the project is infused with Spike Lee’s talent and HBO’s dedication to making great television series.

Da Brick is going to be set in current-day Newark, New Jersey and is described as “a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America and is loosely inspired by aspects of Mike Tyson’s youth.”

  • Wiliapleton Dick

    Does anyone know when Channel 4 are planning to show the new series of the Sopranos, currently being show on HBO in the States, on either Channel 4 or E4?

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  • Old Soldier

    Let me get this straight, Mel Gibson gets blackballed from Hollywood for going on a couple of rants,using a bad choice of words, and making a movie about Jesus. Mike Tyson rapes a girl goes to jail bites someone’s ear off and he makes cameos in movies and t.v. Now they want to make a series about him? Hollywood you are one screwed up bitch.

  • turk 189

    Great! This fucking rapist is making some more money with his life to pay his new jet! I can’t wait to see the series!

  • FizzyLiftingDrink

    Spike Lee is actually going to direct a scripted piece again?! Woah, hope he hasn’t forgotten how. Seriously, what was the last thing he did? Inside Man? 6 years ago?! And, @OldSoldier: What are you? Mel Gibson’s agent? Tyson served his time. The public has forgiven him. They wouldn’t have cast him in Hangover when it happened. But, he’s done his time and he’s married again. Mel Gibson blackballed himself by acting like a lunatic asshole and setting himself up as a religious nut in a weird cult like house in the hills. The public hasn’t forgiven Mel. Case in point: The Beaver. Great reviews. Zero box office. The public has forgiven Tyson. Case in point: Hangover 1 & 2. Though, I do think Mel Gibson or Liam Neeson would’ve been much better in the Tattoo Artist role than the guy they got instead.

    • Old Soldier

      Yes Mike Tyson served his time. No, not all the public has forgiven him. Has his victim? Has Robin Givins for the beatings? My point is he committed a crime and “Hollywood” can’t get enough of him. What Mel Gibson did was legal (although in bad taste) and they won’t touch him.
      P.S. I wish I was his agent.

  • dave

    I met Mike Tyson twice at the peak of his boxing career. He is the sweetest, nicest, most humble famous person I’ve ever met. He took the time for like twenty minutes to show me and two of my friends some basic boxing moves. Its no wonder people who meet him continually want to work with him. I wish him success with this project.

  • Kwame Patterson

    ANY ONE KNOW WHO’S CASTING THIS Mike Tyson series? (here’s a clip of me boxing) “Kwame Patterson” played MONK on THE WIRE


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