HBO Superhero Movie-Making Comedy Pilot Finds Lead Actors

HBO’s comedy pilot about the making of a superhero film franchise has finalized its main cast, diversity have learned.

Billy Magnussen, Jessica Hynes, Darren Goldstein, Lolly Adefope, and Isaac Powell were cast as series regulars, while Daniel Brühl and Richard E. Grant were cast in recurring guest-star roles in the pilot episode titled “The Franchise.”

According to the official logline, the project “follows a hopeful crew trapped in the dysfunctional, nonsensical, happy hellscape of franchise superhero filmmaking. If and when they finally get through the day, they must face the question – is this Hollywood’s new dawn or cinema’s last stand? Is that a dream factory or a chemical factory?”

The pilot was originally commissioned by HBO in August. According to one person with knowledge of the project, Sam Mendes originally came up with the 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 is Executive Producer through Dundee Productions. Keith Akushie executive produces along with Marina Hyde and Jim Kleverweis. Mendes will direct and executive produce the pilot through Neal Street Productions. Neal Street’s Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown and Julie Pastor will also serve as executive producers.

Magnussen is represented by UTA, Anonymous Content and Sloane, Offer. Hynes is represented by the Independent Talent Group and Seven Summits Pictures & Management. Goldstein is represented by Cornerstone Talent Agency and Suskin/Karshan Management. Adefope is represented by Dawn Sedgwick Management. Powell is represented by CAA, Impression Entertainment and Schreck Rose. Brühl is represented by UTA, Tavistock Wood and Players. Grant is represented by Curtis Brown in the UK and WME in the US.

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Iannucci is best known to American audiences for the critically acclaimed HBO political satire Veep, which was an American adaptation of Iannucci’s British sitcom The Thick of It. The series has been a major honoree during its run, including winning the Emmy for Best Comedy Series three years in a row. Iannucci, who is currently under contract with HBO, also created the premium cable-rider comedy series Avenue 5. Brown previously worked with Iannucci on Veep and Avenue 5, while Akushie also worked on Avenue 5.

The pilot will be Mendes’ first time directing for television, although he has executive produced several television shows in the past.

(Pictured: Billy Magnussen, Lolly Adefope)

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