Dwayne Johnson, Issa Rae, and Dany Garcia are set to executive produce a half-hour series in development at HBO about the creation of a backyard wrestling promotion, Variety has learned exclusively.
The project is currently titled “TRE CNT” (a.k.a “TRE COUNT”) and hails from writer Mohamad El Masri. The series focuses on Cassius Jones, a young dock worker and struggling pro-wrestler, who uses inherited life-insurance money for start-up cash and the deed to a shotgun house from his grandfather to start a hip-hop centric backyard wrestling empire in Houston’s Third Ward (The Tre) with the help of his working-class family, neighbors, and friends.
El Masri is an executive producer on the project in addition to writing. Judah Miller will executive produce and serve as showrunner. Johnson and Garcia will executive produce along with Hiram Garcia under their Seven Bucks Productions banner. Rae and Montrel McKay will executive produce via Issa Rae Productions. Dave Becky, Tom Lassally, and Jonathan Berry will executive produce for 3 Arts Entertainment.
Johnson’s involvement brings a layer of authenticity to the project, as he previously wrestled as The Rock in WWE. During his time with that promotion, he rose to be one of the most famous pro wrestlers of all time, winning numerous championships and regularly headlining major pay-per-views.
The show also deepens Rae, Garcia, and Johnson’s relationships with HBO. Rae currently stars in, executive produces, and co-created the critically-acclaimed the HBO series “Insecure.” The fourth season of that show bowed April 12. Johnson and Garcia executive produced the series “Ballers,” on which Johnson also starred. The fifth and final season of that show concluded on HBO in October 2019.
Seven Bucks most recently produced Johnson’s film “Jumanji: The Next Level” and “Fast and Furious Present: Hobbs & Shaw,” as well as many of Johnson’s other theatrical releases. The company also produces shows like “The Titan Games,” “Finding Justice,” and “Rock the Troops.” Seven Bucks is also producing Johnson’s upcoming films, including “The Jungle Cruise,” which is based on the Disney ride of the same name.
In addition to her work on “Insecure,” Rae is an executive producer on the HBO comedy “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” She made her film debut in the drama “The Hate U Give.” Her other recent film credits include “The Photograph” and “The Lovebirds,” with the latter film set to debut on Netflix on May 22 after its theatrical release was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
El Masri’s previous credits include “Here and Now” at HBO and the recently-released Netflix series “October Faction.” He is also a supervising producer on the upcoming Brie Larson CIA series at Apple. Miller has previously worked on HBO shows like “Crashing” and “Vice Principals,” as well as shows like “American Dad” and “King of the Hill.”
(Pictured: Dany Garcia, left; Dwayne Johnson, center; Issa Rae, right)