The project is based on Brett Weiner’s New York Times Op Docs Series that screened at Sundance in 2014 and 2016. It is described as an anthology series based on actual events in which all dialogue is taken from primary sources and presented verbatim.
The exact details of Messina’s character are being kept under wraps, but the pilot episode follows the story of the 2019 college admissions scandal. All dialogue is taken directly from primary sources and every word is presented verbatim.
Messina was recently seen in the DC film “Birds of Prey.” His other feature credits include the Best Pictures winner “Argo” as well as “Away We Go” and “Devil.” On the TV side, he is known for his roles in shows like “Sharp Objects,” “The Sinner,” and “The Mindy Project.”
He is repped by CAA, Management 360, and Gendler & Kelly.
Weiner serves as creator, director, and executive producer on “Verbatim” for HBO Max. Ben Stiller, Nicholas Weinstock, and Jackie Cohn, also executive produce via Red Hour Films. Kathleen Lingo of the New York Times and Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, and Kevin Vargas of Left/Right also executive produce. Scott Lochmus and Michelene Starnadori serve as producers.
HBO Max has a number of pilots in the works at present, with the comedy “Minx” recently adding several actors in key roles. The series is set in the 1970s and follows a woman’s attempt to launch the first adult magazine for women.