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‘Masters of Doom’ Pilot at USA Network Sets Cast, Director

The “Masters of Doom” pilot in the works at USA Network has found its main cast members, as well as its director.

Eduardo Franco (“Booksmart”), Patrick Gibson (“The OA”), John Karna (“Valley of the Boom”), Jane Ackermann (“Neptune”) and Siobhan Williams (“Deadly Class”) have all joined the cast in central roles, as well as “Succession” star Peter Friedman who has jumped aboard in a recurring guest role. Regular “Saturday Night Live” and “Documentary Now!” director Rhys Thomas will helm the pilot.

“Masters of Doom,” based on David Kushner’s non-fiction book, tells the true story of two computer geniuses in an obscure corner of America who, along with a group of rebellious misfits, created one of the biggest franchise hits of the 90s, the video game “Doom.” John Carmack and John Romero were best friends who became bitter rivals, as they created a video game empire and transformed pop culture forever.

Franco will play Romero, who is described as a brilliant young programmer and designer determined to become the video game industry’s first rock star. Gibson will play Carmack, a self-taught genius whose unparalleled programming skill allows him to help create the first-person shooter genre. 

Ackermann will play Hannah Romero, John’s wife, whose support for her husband is pushed to its breaking point by his unrelenting focus on games. Karna will play Tom Hall, a tragically lovable young game designer who becomes the heart and soul of the two Johns’ groundbreaking company, iD Software. Williams will play Stevie Case, a brash and charismatic young woman who becomes one of the first female professional gamers, and John Romero’s girlfriend.

Finally, Friedman will recur as Al Vekovius, the 1987 Shreveport Businessman of the Year, whose Louisiana company, Softdisk, brings the two Johns together and sponsors their first forays as professional game designers.

Hailing from UCP, “Masters of Doom” will be written by Tom Bissell, who will also serve as executive producer. Other EPs on the project are Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Eric Robinson and Jeremy Bell of The Gotham Group, James Franco, Dave Franco, Vince Jolivette and Elizabeth Haggard of Ramona Films, and Kushner. D.J. Goldberg of The Gotham Group will serve as a co-EP.

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