August 30, 2011 7:09pm PT by Lacey Rose, Lesley Goldberg
HBO Gives Pilot Order to Spike Lee, Mike Tyson Boxing Drama
HBO is stepping into the the boxing ring with Mike Tyson, Spike Lee and Doug Ellin.
The premium cable network has ordered a pilot for Da Brick, a boxing drama project loosely based on former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson’s early life in the ring.
The project hails from Tyson, along with Lee, L.A. Riots' John Ridley, Entourage creator Ellin and his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz. Lee is set to direct with 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. It marks the latest in a string of Hollywood projects for Tyson, who has turned up in the Hangover franchise as well as Animal Planet's Taking on Tyson. Last season, he added a cameo on Entourage to his resume.
For his part, Ellin has a comedy vehicle with Ed Burns set up at HBO and will wrap up Entourage after eight seasons later this summer. Lee, too, is no stranger for the premium cable net, having produced and directed a series of New Orleans documentaries, When the Levees Broke and If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise.
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