Pair team for drama series project

HBO is finalizing deals for a drama series project from Rod Lurie with Kevin Spacey attached to star as a charismatic cult leader.

Project dubbed “The Crux” has been the focus of a bidding skirmish during the past few days among a number of cable outlets, including FX and Showtime. Project is on the fast track for development at the pay cabler.

The idea for the project started with Lurie’s producing partner, Marc Frydman, who is in the midst of co-writing the script with Lurie. Lurie will also direct the pilot and hopes to begin lensing soon.

“It really is a perfect marriage between an actor and a role,” Lurie told Daily Variety , noting that he was impressed at how Spacey began to flesh out the character during the trio’s recent round of pitch meetings.

“Crux” will be set in L.A. and revolve around a man who leads a “multibillion dollar worldwide cult,” Lurie noted, as compared to a small insular organization such as David Koresh’s Branch Davidians.

Lurie and Spacey were paired for the project by Scott Lambert, the former WMA agent who once repped both of them. He’ll serve as an exec producer on “Crux” along with Lurie, Frydman, Spacey and his Trigger Street Prods. partner, Dana Brunetti.

The project is the first to come under the first-look pact that HBO has with Trigger Street.

Spacey made a splash at HBO two years ago as the star of its Emmy-winning telepic “Recount,” about the 2000 presidential election drama. Lurie and Frydman most recently worked on the Lurie-helmed feature remake of “Straw Dogs” for Screen Gems.

Lurie’s small screen work includes ABC’s Geena Davis starrer “Commander in Chief.” His featuring helming credits include 2008’s “Nothing But the Truth,” 2007’s “Resurrecting the Champ” and 2000’s “The Contender.”

Lurie and Frydman are repped by WME. Spacey is repped by CAA.

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