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Definitely Not 40
Apr 4, 2004
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Dwayne Johnson To Star In & Produce HBO Pilot About Athletes From Steve Levinson & Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg To Direct

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 movie Pain & Gain, which opened at No. 1 this past weekend. The two actors also are repped by the same agency, WME. A showrunner will be brought in soon to the project, which marks Levinson’s pilot-writing debut. He has previously co-written several episodes of HBO’s Entourage, which he also executive produced with Wahlberg. Additionally, the duo executive produce HBO’s drama series Boardwalk Empire and drama pilot The Missionary.

Johnson, who continues to appear on WWE Raw, toplines and executive produces TNT’s new reality competition show The Hero, which premieres June 6. On the big screen, he next stars in Fast & Furious 6. This is WME-repped Berg’s second HBO pilot gig. He recently signed on to direct and executive produce Damon Lindelof’s The Leftovers.
When did HBO get this hard-on for Wahlberg? It's like damn near every project they do these days has his name on it...
Guess he's produced or executive produced some hit shows for them. I liked Entourage early on (didn't see the last few seasons) and Boardwalk is one of my current faves.
Dwayne Johnson’s HBO Half-Hour Pilot ‘Ballers’ Picked Up To Series

Dwayne Johnson is headed to HBO’s primetime. The pay cable network has picked up to series half-hour pilot 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 Strasnore, a retired athlete. The cast includes Omar Benson Miller as Charles, an affable former pro athlete who is searching for his next career; Denzel Wanshington’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; 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 and executive produced by Jay Roach, who directed the pilot, and Jerry Weintraub. Both have been touted as having potential to attract 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.

Johnson and Wahlberg’s collaboration on Ballers stems their work together on Michael Bay’s action movie Pain & Gain, while Wahlnerg and Levinson recently worked with Berg on his feature Lone Survivor, which starred Wahlberg. HBO is producing Ballers with Wahlberg’s Closest to the Hole Productions, Levinson’s Leverage Entertainment, and Johnson’s White Buffalo Entertainment. Johnson, Wahlberg, Levinson and Reilly are executive producing along with Johnson’s manager Dany Garcia who runs his production company. Hiram Garcia is co-executive producing, while Levinson’s father, Dave Levinson, and Leverage’s Bret Slater will serve as producers. At HBO, Wahlberg and Levinson also produce drama series Boardwalk Empire and the upcoming Entourage movie based on the HBO series.
I'm thinking this role may have come too late for Taylor. I'm not the biggest fan of her acting prowess but she finally may have quality material to work with and this could have been her in for the role of Wonder Woman. Only saying this because looks-wise, she is the perfect embodiment of Wonder Woman.
Dwayne in a hbo comedy series? yeeeeeeeeees.



I know what I'm watching after work tonight. Do you smell? :cool:
Good first episode. If this is the NFL version of Entourage, I'm definitely going to stick by it. :up:
Yeah, it already has more 'balls' towards the idiocracy of rich idiots within he NFL (ala Adrien Peterson) than Entourage ever tried to put commentary on rich idiots within Hollywood (ala Nicholas Cage).

Don't get me wrong, I loved Entourage but it never took full advantage of it's premise.
It does feel like NFL Entourage.

I thought Denzel's son was good.
who did Denzel Son play?

like the description someone posted

NFL entourage I like it
Now we just need a NBA Entourage on HBO. But this show has potential. I lol when that football player died with his mistress the way they did.
Best episode so far tonight.

Laughed a good amount
Can't wait for Reggie to get his ass beat!
Gave the pilot a look as it was the Rock. Not a bad show. Only thing I'm confused about is the Transformers dude... Where's that character going in the show?

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