Adam McKay has cast Jason Clarke as Jerry West in HBO’s hour-long drama pilot Showtime, which examines the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty of the 1980s, Collider has learned.
Showtime is based on Jeff Pearlman‘s non-fiction book of the same name, which chronicles the professional and personal lives of the Showtime-era Lakers — a team that defined its era, both on and off the court. In addition to West, key characters include Dr. Jerry Buss, coach Pat Riley, and All-Star players like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. There aren’t many established Hollywood stars who are 7-feet tall, so McKay will be forced to cast either newcomers, shorter actors, or retired NBA players as the Lakers.
Per HBO, Jerry West is the cantankerous tortured genius of basketball who ought to be the perfect man to build the Lakers into a dynasty, if only he can get past his own worst enemy — himself.
McKay will direct the pilot and executive produce alongside Kevin Messick under McKay’s new, yet-to-be-named company. Max Borenstein will serve as writer and executive producer, while Jim Hecht will serve as co-writer and executive producer. Jason Shuman rounds out the EP team. Additional casting is under way, and McKay is expected to start shooting the pilot in September.
Clarke just worked with HBO, as he stars opposite Helen Mirren in the network’s upcoming Catherine the Great miniseries, which will premiere in the fall. He also recently wrapped Antonio Campos‘ star-studded thriller The Devil All the Time for Netflix, as well as the indie movie Silk Road with Nick Robinson.
Clarke broke out in Kathryn Bigelow‘s Oscar-nominated thriller Zero Dark Thirty before going on to play John Connor in Terminator Genisys and Ted Kennedy in John Curran‘s acclaimed drama Chappaquiddick. His other major feature credits include Damien Chazelle‘s First Man and Dee Rees‘ Mudbound. He’s represented by WME, Robert Stein Management and attorney Carlos Goodman.