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Michael Shannon to Play Jerry Buss in HBO’s ‘Untitled Showtime Lakers Project’ Pilot

Michael Shannon has been cast to play self-made millionaire and former Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss in HBO’s “The Untitled Showtime Lakers Project” pilot, based on the Jeff Pearlman book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.”

The series, which chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s-era Lakers, is an hour-long drama executive produced by Adam McKay, who will direct the pilot. Kevin Messick will executive produce. Max Borenstein will write and executive produce. Jim Hecht is a co-writer and exec producer on the project. Jason Shuman and Scott Stephens are listed as executive producers, and Rodney Barnes is a co-executive producer.

Buss, in this project, is described as a self-made millionaire who “redefines American sports, celebrity, and wealth by transforming the Lakers into a dynasty but his house of cards threatens to collapse on him—and the people he loves most.”

The series had previously been titled “Showtime,” but is now going by “The Untitled Showtime Lakers Project.”

Shannon has a number of other projects in the works. He will next be seen in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “The Current War” opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, and next year will star in Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” opposite Paul Sparks. He will also be in Seth Savoy’s “Echo Boomers” alongside Nick Robinson, Britt Robertson, and Alex Pettyfer.

HBO had previously announced Jason Clarke had been cast to play Jerry West, the basketball player described as 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: Jerry West.”

Shannon is represented by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment Group and Morris, Yorn, Barnes, Levine, Krintzman, Runbenstein, Kohner & Gellman.

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