The untitled drama is based on Jeff Pearlman’s non-fiction account Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. Max Borenstein adapted the book for television, and serves as executive producer alongside Adam McKay, who was tapped to direct the pilot.
The Showtime Lakers period began after former chemist Dr. Jerry Buss (previously reported to be played by John C. Reilly) bought the team in 1979. Buss invested heavily in the spectacle surrounding the game, hiring professional dancers and courting Hollywood stars as fans. While the team won its first championship in 1980 with Paul Westhead as coach, the 1981 squad disappointed as Westhead and Buss clashed about pace of play.
In 1982, Riley took over as coach, using an uptempo offense to unlock the high-flying athleticism of Magic Johnson (Quincy Isiah) and Kareem Abdul-Jabber (Solomon Hughes). Jason Clarke rounds out the cast as former player and coach Jerry Buss.
Later this year, Brody will star in Wes Anderson’s new film The French Dispatch.