“Duster,” an eight-episode drama from “Lost” creator J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan, has been ordered to series by HBO Max, it was announced Thursday. The order comes almost three years after “Duster” was first revealed to be in development at the streamer in April 2021.
Additionally, Max unveiled the cast for the 1972-set series, with Rachel Hilson (“This Is Us,” “Love Victor”) starring as Nina, a young Black FBI agent who journeys to the Southwest on an assignment to take down a crime syndicate. Josh Holloway, best known for playing Sawyer in Abrams’ ABC series “Lost,” stars opposite Hilson as Jim, a getaway driver recruited to help Nina on her mission; his casting was first reported by Variety in 2021.
“We are delighted to bring this high-voltage crime caper from the brilliant minds of J.J. Abrams and LaToya Morgan to the HBO Max audience,” HBO Max head of original content Sarah Aubrey said in a statement. “This show has all the elements of a great Max Original, with propulsive storytelling, fantastic characters, and some truly bad-ass car chases.”
Aside from Hilson and Holloway, “Duster” will also star Abrams’ frequent collaborators Greg Grunberg, Keith David, Sydney Elisabeth, Camille Guaty, Asivak Koostachin, Adriana Aluna Martinez, and Benjamin Charles Watson.
The project was one of three TV series ordered by HBO Max from Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions following a production deal between the banner and WarnerMedia in 2019, along with a “The Shining” spinoff series “Overlook” and DC Comics adaptation “Justice League Dark.” HBO Max reportedly passed on “Overlook,” while there have been no updates on “Justice League Dark” since the series was first announced.
“Duster” will be the first TV project Abrams has written for since the short-lived 2010 NBC drama “Undercovers.” He and Morgan, best known for her work on “The Walking Dead,” co-wrote the first two episodes of the show. Steph Green, who previously directed for HBO’s “Watchmen” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” directs the first two episodes. Abrams and Rachel Rusch Rich executive produce via Bad Robot, while Morgan executive produces via TinkerToy Productions.
“LaToya and I are thrilled at the chance to bring the wild, wily and wacky world of ‘Duster’ to life, especially with this exceptional cast, crew and network,” Abrams said in a statement.
“’Duster’ is an amalgam of all my favorite things – high-octane storytelling with deep characters and so much heart. It’s a dream project and I’m supremely grateful to all the folks at Warner Bros. and HBO Max for believing in this show,” Morgan added. “And I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime than J.J. to build this incredible world.”
The show’s order comes a few months after HBO canceled the sci-fi series “Westworld,” which Abrams executive-produced for Bad Robot, after four seasons before removing it from HBO Max in favor of licensing it to Roku and Tubi. The “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” director also had a sci-fi series “Demimonde” in development at HBO, which was canceled last June.
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