HBO Puts in a Series Order for The Rock’s Football Comedy, ‘Ballers’
Dwayne Johnson, the 17-time pretend-wrestling champion and top-grossing actor of 2013, is now going to star in Ballers, a half-hour HBO show about football players in Miami. (Background check: The Rock played defensive tackle for the University of Miami Hurricanes during their 1991 championship season.) Johnson will star as a retired player; he’s also co-executive producing alongside his Pain & Gain bro Mark Wahlberg, as well as Wahlberg’s Entourage bro Stephen Levinson. Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor) directed the pilot. None of that’s particularly new — the show’s been developing since May 2013, with all these details intact — but now there’s a series pickup and some key additions to the fold.
First off, Rob Corddry is costarring as “a financial advisor who tries really hard to fit in.” Great news, right off the bat. We’ve also got Omar Benson Miller (8 Mile, CSI: Miami) as “an affable former pro athlete who is searching for his next career,” IMDb rookie and Denzel Washington offspring John David Washington as “a highly competitive and highly spiritual pro athlete,” and Evan Reilly, a writer and co-executive producer on The Walking Dead and Rescue Me, sitting in the showrunner seat. The series order comes days after HBO did the same for The Brink, a Jay Roach comedy set to star Jack Black, Tim Robbins, and Pablo Schreiber. Production on Ballers … kicks off … later this year, so maybe expect to see the finished product in the spring of 2015. The Rock will make like four mega-successful movies before that.