Dwayne Johnson is headed to HBO‘s primetime. The pay cable network has picked up to series half-hour pilot Ballers toplined by the wrestling and movie star in his first major series gig. He is executive producing the series with his Pain & Gain co-star Mark Wahlberg; Wahlberg’s manager/frequent producing partner Steve Levinson, on whose original idea the project is based; showrunner Even Reilly; and Peter Berg, who directed the pilot. Written by Levinson in his pilot-writing debut, Ballers is exploring the lives of a group of former and current football players. Johnson stars as Spencer Strasmore, a retired athlete. The cast includes Omar Benson Miller as Charles, an affable former pro athlete who is searching for his next career; Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington as Ricky, a highly competitive and highly spiritual pro athlete; Rob Corddry as Joe, a financial advisor who tries really hard to fit in; Troy Garity as Jason, a top-tier sports agent; Donovan Carter as Vernon, a deeply family-oriented pro athlete; Jazmyn Simon as Julie, wife of an ex-pro athlete; Taylor Cole as Michaels, an ESPN sideline reporter who is romantically involved with Spencer; and LeToya Luckett as Tina, widow to one of Spencer’s closest friends.
The series pickup for Ballers, which will start production later this year, comes on the heels of the series order on Tuesday of another half-hour project with marquee stars from a top director and producer, The Brink, starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins. Jay Roach, who directed the pilot, and Jerry Weintraub are executive producing. Both series have been touted as capable of attracting broad audiences, something Johnson already has done in primetime as his WWE alter ego The Rock and on the big screen. He next reprises his role on the Fast & Furious 7 movie, whose production has been delayed by the death of star Paul Walker, and also has feature Hercules and TNT reality series Wake Up Call coming up. Read More »
Which superstar outdrew their peers to top the international box office in 2013? The answer might surprise you. Here are the Top 10 Hollywood heavyweights of this year’s global live-action hits whose star power played a significant role in international returns (Sandra Bullock just missed making the cut). Click on a photo to launch the slideshow countdown: Read More »
Chris Pratt is in very early talks for Jurassic World, the 3D sequel that Universal will release June 12, 2015. The actor would play the role Josh Brolin was being eyed for last month. Colin Trevorrow is directing the pic, and he co-wrote the latest draft with Derek Connolly. Steven Spielberg is producing the film with Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley. Pratt next appears in the Vince Vaughn starrer Delivery Man , which opens next weekend. He has a voice role in The Lego Movie and also will star in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. Recent film credits include Zero Dark Thirty and The Five-Year Engagement. Pratt also stars on NBC’s Parks And Recreation. He is repped by CAA and Mosaic.
Dwayne Johnson is attached to star in Not Without Hope for Relativity, which will finance, produce, and distribute the deep-sea survival pic. Johnson will play Nick Schuyler, whose best-selling memoirs form the true-story basis of the film. Pic tracks Schuyler and his three buds, including NFL players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith and ex-college athlete Will Bleakley, whose fishing trip went awry, leaving the foursome adrift off the coast of Florida in 2009. Read More »
Dwayne Johnson will star in the disaster pic San Andreas for New Line. He’ll play a rescue-chopper pilot who treks across an earthquake-devastated California in search of his estranged daughter. Brad Peyton, who directed Johnson in … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount and MGM are making a deal with Jon M. Chu to direct another installment of G.I. Joe. It was Chu who essentially guided a do-over from 2009′s G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra, and it wasn’t the easiest process. The film was refashioned with Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis as its core leads. Even then, Paramount pulled the film from its 2012 release calendar (to make it 3D and do some creative enhancements) and did the same with World War Z (to shoot a whole new third act). It looks like the studio’s gamble will pay off in both cases. G.I. Joe: Retaliation came out in March to gross $365 million globally, and WWZ is beginning to generate positive buzz after being prematurely written off because of its production issues, now that people are seeing it’s a good movie. Read More »
Principal photography on Hercules has begun in Budapest, Hungary. The film, starring Dwayne Johnson and Ian McShane is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars. The ensemble action film is a revisionist take on … Read More »
In a summer where Dwayne Johnson seems to be everywhere the blockbuster star hit the small screen last night with the debut of The Hero on TNT. With just over 1.5 million viewers tuning in at … Read More »
HBO has given a pilot order to a half-hour dramedy pilot starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This marks the first TV-starring role for the movie actor/wrestler, who is executive producing the project with his Pain & Gain co-star Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson. Peter Berg is on board to direct the pilot and will executive produce, along with Johnson’s manager Dany Garcia who runs his production company. Written by Levinson, the untitled project chronicles the lives of athletes — some retired, some still active — living in Miami. Johnson will play one of them, with filming eyed for the fall.
Johnson’s collaboration with Wahlberg and his manager/ frequent producing partner Levinson on the project, based on an idea by Levinson, stems from Johnson and Wahlberg’s work together on Michael Bay’s action moviePain & Gain, which opened at No. 1 this past weekend. The two actors also are repped by the same agency, WME. Read More »
Other networks are announcing their season finales this week but TNT is putting up dates for when its shows are coming back and when new series are debuting this summer. The network announced that the Dwayne … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rufus Sewell is set to star as Autolycus alongside Dwayne Johnson in Hercules for MGM. Ryan Condal has written the film and Evan Spiliotopoulos rewrite it and Brett Ratner is directing. Ratner will produce with Barry Levine and Beau Flynn. After renouncing his mythological origins, Hercules lives in exile and fights as a mercenary for hire alongside his loyal but weary comrades. Hercules and his crew will face their most challenging labor yet when one battle forces the man behind the myth to question everything he once believed, and reconsider the truth behind his own legend. The pic has been set to open July 25, 2014. Read More »
Paramount‘s Brett Ratner-directed Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson as the legendary strongman, will hit theaters August 8, 2014, a week after Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy is slated to bow. Hercules is an adaptation of the 2008 Radical … Read More »
Will Paul Walker have to drive an automatic after suffering an ACL injury on Fast And Furious 6? The answer is no, but Walker has been limping since getting hurt doing some stunt work earlier today on the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Barry Sonnenfeld is in talks to direct Dwayne Johnson in Lore, a film based on an Ashley Wood IDW graphic novel about a secret order that defends the world against creatures thought to be mythological, but … Read More »