*One day after the announcement of its pilot pick up, HBO has revealed the star and three supporting players in its Spike Lee boxing drama “Da Brick,” loosely based on the life of former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
The show is described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in a supposedly post-racial America.
“Attack the Block” star John Boyega has been tapped for the lead role of Donnie, who, after his release from juvenile detention on his 18th birthday begins an exploration of what it means to be a man for himself and those around him.
Milauna Jemai (“NCIS’) will play Lynette, Donnie’s mother, who reconnects with her son following a 14-month separation.
Julito McCullum (“The Wire”) will play Kevin, Donnie’s best friend and the one person he can’t leave behind, no matter how much he may want to.
Kamahl Naiqui Palmer (“Gossip Girl”) is set as Malik, the moral center of Donnie’s tight group of friends who is looking for direction between his middle-class upbringing and the harder realities of his environment.
Tyson, “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin and his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz are attached as nonwriting executive producers, along with Tyson’s wife, Lakiha Tyson. Azim Spicer is attached as a nonwriting co-executive producer.
Spike Lee is set to direct with John Ridley on board to write and serve as showrunner. It will be set in Newark, N.J., which is often dubbed “Brick City.” Much as “Entourage” was inspired by producer Mark Wahlberg’s life, Da Brick will reflect aspects of Tyson’s upbringing.