Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade) has been tapped to play Boston Celtics icon Larry Bird in Adam McKay’s Los Angeles Lakers HBO drama series, based on Jeff Pearlman’s book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, Deadline has learned. HBO declined comment.
Written by Max Borenstein, the fast-break series chronicles the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined its era both on and off the court.
The Lakers and the Celtics’ rivalry helped define the NBA in the 1980s with their games attracting huge TV audiences, and Bird played a major part in that.
Burnham joins a cast that includes Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, Sally Field as Jessie Buss, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss, DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr., Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn, Kirk Bovill as Donald Sterling, Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper, Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani, Tamera Tomakili as Earletha “Cookie” Kelly and Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen.
McKay’s Hyperobject Industries is producing. Borenstein executive produces with McKay, who is directing the pilot, and Kevin Messick for Hyperobject Industries. Jim Hecht is co-writer of the story and executive produces along with Jason Shuman, Scott Stephens and Rodney Barnes.
Burnham, who started off as a comedian, won the 2019 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in first-time feature film for Eighth Grade, which he also wrote. He most recently appeared in Promising Young Woman, which has been nominated for five Oscars.
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