*Dwayne Johnson is headed to HBO for his first major series gig.
The pay cable network has picked up to series half-hour pilot “Ballers,” featuring the wrestling and movie star in the story of a group of former and current football players.
Johnson stars as Spencer Strasmore, a retired athlete. The cast includes Omar Benson Miller as Charles, an affable former pro athlete who is searching for his next career; Denzel Washington’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 in; 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.
Johnson is also 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.
Production is scheduled to begin later this year.