Adrien Brody to Star as Pat Riley in HBO’s 1980s Los Angeles Lakers Drama

Adrien Brody is among a slew of high-profile actors set to appear in HBO's upcoming basketball show.
Adrien Brody
Adrien Brody
Michael Buckner/Variety

The cast for HBO’s upcoming drama series about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers NBA team is coming together.

Variety reported on Tuesday that Adrien Brody, who starred in films such “The Pianist,” “The Thin Red Line,” and “The Village,” will portray legendary Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley in the upcoming show.

Brody is among several high-profile talents who will appear in the series. Others include Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Catherine the Great”) as Jerry West, a 14-time NBA All-Star, John C. Reilly (“Step Brothers”) as Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Quincy Isaiah as point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Solomon Hughes as center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, DeVaughn Nixon as point guard Norm Nixon (DeVaugn is Norm’s son), Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr., Spencer Garrett as announcer Chick Hearn, Kirk Bovill as former owner Donald Sterling, and Delante Desouza as shooting guard Michael Cooper.

HBO’s untitled Lakers series was ordered in December 2019. The series is described as a chronicle of “the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined its era, both on and off the court.” The project will examine the team’s “Showtime Era,” when Riley’s coaching helped lead the Lakers to win four NBA championships.

The show is written by Max Borsenstein, who also serves as executive producer. Adam McKay (“Succession”) directed the pilot and executive produces via Hyperobject Industries alongside Kevin Messick and Jason Shuman. The series’ story was co-written by Jim Hecht, who executive produces alongside Scott Stephens and Rodney Barnes.

Brody’s starring role in the series will mark one of the most high-profile television credits of his career. Brody previously appeared in an episode of British drama “Peaky Blinders” in 2017 and also starred in shows such as “Houdini,” “Breakthrough,” and “Dice.” Brody has been prolific on the film side in recent years, appearing in titles such as “Bullet Head” and “Air Strike.” He is slated to appear in a handful of upcoming films, including Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” which also stars Benicio del Toro and Tilda Swinton, as well as films such as “El Tonto” and “Blonde.”

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