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Apple’s Huey P. Newton Series ‘Big Cigar’ Casts P.J. Byrne as Steve Blauner (EXCLUSIVE)

P.J. Byrne Rampage
Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Apple’s upcoming limited series “The Big Cigar” has cast P.J. Byrne in a series regular role, Variety has learned exclusively.

The six-episode series stars André Holland as Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton. It is based on the Playboy magazine article of the same name by Joshuah Bearman and tells the true story of how Newton relied on his best friend, Bert Schneider (Alessandro Nivola), the Hollywood producer behind “Easy Rider,” to elude a nationwide manhunt and escape to Cuba while being pursued into exile by the FBI.

The cast also includes Tiffany Boone and Marc Menchaca.

Byrne will appear in the series as Steve Blauner. Blauner was a partner of Schneider’s and Bob Rafelson in BBS Productions and was also well known as the manager of music superstar Bobby Darin. Blauner was previously played by John Goodman in the film “Beyond the Sea.”

Byrne recently appeared in the hit Amazon series “The Boys” as director Adam Bourke, while his other TV credits include “Never Have I Ever,” “Them,” “The Legend of Korra,” “Black Lightning,” and “Big Little Lies.” He is also known for his roles in films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Rampage.” He will soon be seen in the Damien Chazelle film “Babylon” as well as the Apple comedy film “Spirited,” a musical remake of “A Christmas Carol.”

He is repped by Greene Talent, Mosaic and Schreck Rose.

Jim Hecht, who recently created “Winning Time” at HBO, wrote the pilot and executive produces. Janine Sherman Barrois, the showrunner for shows like “Claws” and “Self Made” and the creator and showrunner of “The Kings of Napa” at OWN, will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Don Cheadle is onboard to direct and executive produce the first two episodes. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.

Sherman Barrois executive produces under her Folding Chair Productions banner, which has an overall deal at WBTV. Joshua Davis and Arthur Spector also executive produce via Epic, a division of Vox Media Studios, with Bearman also executive producing.