August 16, 2011 5:51pm PT by Jay A. Fernandez
Viola Davis Circling New HBO Drama Series
On the heels of the successful opening of the DreamWorks drama The Help, Viola Davis is circling the lead in a new untitled half-hour HBO series. Sundance breakout Dee Rees and writer-producer Margaret Nagle are negotiating to write the story, with Rees also a potential to direct.
The show is focused on the corruption of a city as seen through the eyes of the headmaster of an exclusive prep school who is angling for much bigger things. Though most of the principal deals are not yet closed, John Lesher is lined up to be an executive producer along with Davis and Nagle, and Rees a co-exec producer.
Repped by APA and Principal Entertainment, Davis has recently appeared in Trust, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Eat Pray Love and Knight and Day. She will next be on screen in the Paramount drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which hits theaters at Christmas.
Repped by WME and Cinetic Management, Rees wrote and directed Pariah, which had its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Focus Features picked up worldwide rights to the coming-of-age drama, which will play as part of the Toronto film festival program ahead of a theatrical release in the late fall. Rees is also writing the original thriller Bolo for Focus.
The UTA-repped Nagle has been a writer and producer on Boardwalk Empire and Side Order of Life. She also wrote the Emmy-winning HBO movie Warm Springs.