HBO’s comedy pilot about the making of a franchise superhero movie has set its main cast, Variety has learned.
Billy Magnussen, Jessica Hynes, Darren Goldstein, Lolly Adefope, and Isaac Powell have been cast as series regulars, while Daniel Brühl and Richard E. Grant have been cast in recurring guest star roles in the pilot, which is titled “The Franchise.”
Per the official logline, the project follows “a hopeful crew trapped inside the dysfunctional, nonsensical, joyous hellscape of franchise superhero movie-making. If and when they finally make the day, the question they must face — is this Hollywood’s new dawn or cinema’s last stand? Is this a dream factory or a chemical plant?”
The pilot was originally commissioned at HBO in August. According to an individual with knowledge of the project, Sam Mendes came up with the original idea for the show and put the project together. Jon Brown wrote the pilot and will also serve as executive producer, and showrunner. Armando Iannucci executive produces via Dundee Productions. Keith Akushie executive produces along with Marina Hyde and Jim Kleverweis. Mendes will direct the pilot and executive produce via Neal Street Productions. Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown, and Julie Pastor of Neal Street will also executive produce.
Magnussen is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content, and Sloane, Offer. Hynes is repped by Independent Talent Group and Seven Summits Pictures & Management. Goldstein is repped by Cornerstone Talent Agency and Suskin/Karshan Management. Adefope is repped by Dawn Sedgwick Management. Powell is repped by CAA, Impression Entertainment, and Schreck Rose. Brühl is repped by UTA, Tavistock Wood, and Players. Grant is repped by Curtis Brown in the UK and WME in the US.
Iannucci is best known to American audiences for creating the critically-acclaimed HBO political satire “Veep,” which was an American adaptation of Iannucci’s British sitcom “The Thick of It.” The series was a major awards player during its run, including winning the Emmy for best comedy series three years in a row. Iannucci, who is currently under an overall deal with HBO, also created the premium cabler’s comedy series “Avenue 5.” Brown previously worked with Iannucci on “Veep” as well as on “Avenue 5,” while Akushie also worked on “Avenue 5.”
The pilot will mark the first time Mendes has directed for television, though he has executive produced several TV shows in the past.
(Pictured: Billy Magnussen, Lolly Adefope)
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