'Hell or High Water' Director Boards USA Network's 'Damnation'

David Mackenzie will helm the pilot and exec produce the project.
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Hell or High Water director David Mackenzie has found his next act.

Mackenzie is set to helm the pilot for USA Network's Damnation, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Mackenzie and his producing partner at Sigma Films, Gillian Berrie, will also exec produce the pilot, which was greenlit at the NBCUniversal cabler back in June.

Described as an epic saga of the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, Damnation centers on the mythic conflict and violent struggle between big money and the downtrodden, God and greed, charlatans and prophets. The pilot follows Seth Davenport, a man masquerading as a small town Iowa preacher in the hopes of starting a full-blown insurrection against the status quo. Focused on his mission, he is unaware that an industrialist tycoon has hired a professional strikebreaker named Creeley Turner to stop the uprising by any means necessary. But unbeknown to those around them, these two men already share a secret bloody past. 

The two join previously announced executive producers James Mangold (Walk the Line), Guymon Casady (Game of Thrones), Daniel Rappaport (Office Space) and Tony Tost (Longmire), who wrote the pilot. Universal Cable Productions will produce.

 

Damnation marks one of the first TV projects for Mackenzie, who is coming off the summer indie hit Hell or High Water. The modern-day Western, which stars Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster, has grossed more than $17 million since its Aug. 12 release and also boats a 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

His other credits include Asylum and Young Adam. He is repped by UTA in the states and United Agents in the U.K.

Damnation is one of three pilots in the works at USA Network, all three with impressive names attached. Jessica Biel is set to star in and executive produce the crime drama The Sinner, and Rob Reiner is executive producing the period drama The Tap, for which Simon Cellan Jones (Boardwalk Empire) will direct the pilot. 

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