John C. Reilly is being called to substitute for Michael Shannon. The Oscar-nominated actor will be leading the HBO Lakers series cast as team owner Jerry Buss in HBO’s drama pilot, replacing Shannon in the role. The casting reunites Reilly with frequent collaborator Adam McKay, who is directing the pilot and executive producing the series.
Collider broke the news that John C. Reilly is replacing Michael Shannon in HBO’s yet-untitled series about the Showtime-era Lakers. Reilly will play Jerry Buss, depicted in the series as a “self-made millionaire whose success has only amplified his proclivity for risk,” describes the outlet. “Buss redefines American sports, celebrity, and wealth by transforming the Lakers into a basketball dynasty, but his house of cards threatens to collapse on him — and the people he loves most.”
Based on Jeff Pearlman’s non-fiction book Showtime, the series will chronicle the personal and professional lives of the Showtime Lakers, the team that defined an era. Jason Clarke is starring opposite Reilly as Jerry West, the “cantankerous tortured genius of basketball,” according to HBO. West seeks to build the Lakers into a dynasty, but proves to be his own worst enemy. Other key characters include coach Pat Riley and All-Star players like Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
It’s still unknown why Shannon dropped out of the pilot, though his departure could open his schedule for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, which the actor was reportedly being eyed for. Reilly and Shannon are two very different actors, but both equally talented — and Reilly proves to be a fitting choice for McKay, who has worked with him on films like Step Brothers and Talladega Nights.
McKay is directing the pilot for the unnamed series, previously titled Showtime, and executive producing alongside Kevin Messick under McKay’s new, yet-to-be-named company. Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht are penning the series and also serving as executive producers. Jason Shuman, Scott Stephens and Rodney Barnes executive produce as well. McKay is expected to start shooting the pilot in September.
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