Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: There is behind-the-scenes change on Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter’s long-gestating rock ‘n’ roll drama at HBO. Feature writer-directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who were tapped as showrunners in August, have left the project. The duo will stay in business with HBO via a blind script deal. Koppelman and Levien were to do some rewriting on Winter’s pilot script, working with him. Their exit was a mutual decision stemming from differences over the series’ creative direction. Talks already are underway with a potential new showrunner. The untitled rock ‘n’ roll series, which Boardwalk Empire executive producers Scorsese and Winter created with The Rolling Stones’ Jagger, has been in the works at HBO since 2010, moving on a slow track because of the principals’ busy schedules. Winter has been running Boardwalk Empire, now in Season 4 and already renewed for a fifth season; Scorsese has been focused on features; and Jagger has been working with his band. Things started to pick up earlier this summer when Bobby Cannavale became attached to play the lead, and the project began gearing up for an early 2014 shoot with Scorsese directing the pilot — like he did with the Boardwalk Empire pilot that earned him a directing Emmy.

There is no formal green light yet for project, which follows the exploits of Richie (Cannavale), a cocaine-fueled record exec in New York City circa 1977, when punk, disco and a new form of music called hip-hop collided.

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