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Y’lan Noel to Star in FX Pilot ‘The Spook Who Sat By the Door’

Y'lan Noel
Ryan Pfluger

Y’lan Noel has been cast as Dan Freeman, the protagonist in the FX adaptation of Sam Greenlee’s spy novel, “The Spook Who Sat By the Door,” which is being executive produced by Lee Daniels. The project is in pilot production at the premium cabler.

In “Spook,” the fictional Freeman is the first Black CIA officer hired by the agency in the late 1960s, who has trained in high-level combat and espionage. He is described as “a patriot, a Vietnam vet, and secretly, a Black Revolutionary.”

Noel, known for playing Daniel in Issa Rae’s “Insecure” on HBO, was most recently in the Stella Maghie romantic drama “The Photograph” from Universal Pictures last year alongside Rae, LaKeith Stanfield and Chelsea Peretti. He can also be seen in the upcoming Mo McRae-directed “A Lot of Nothing” opposite Cleopatra Coleman and Lex Scott Davis. Noel was previously in Meghie’s indie comedy “The Weekend” alongside Sasheer Zamata, Tone Bell and DeWanda Wise, and starred as the lead in Gerard McMurray’s 2019 film “The First Purge,” a prequel to “The Purge” franchise.

Executive producing alongside Daniels are Marc Velez, Leigh Dana Jackson and McMurray. Jackson is penning the “Spook” pilot, which will be directed by McMurray. 20th Television is the studio behind the pilot, which was optioned through Daniels’ Inclusion Fund.

Noel, who graduated top of his class from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ drama department, is repped by Max Maulitz & Mike DeVeau at WME, Matt Shelton at Stride Management and John Meigs at Hansen, Jacobsen, Teller, Hoberman.