Donald Glover’s FX Pilot ‘Atlanta’ Adds Trio to Cast

Brian_Tyree_Henry_Lakeith_Lee_Stanfield_Split - H 2015
Courtesy of FX Networks

Brian_Tyree_Henry_Lakeith_Lee_Stanfield_Split - H 2015

The rap game is about to be challenged.

FX’s Donald Glover pilot, Atlanta, has rounded out its lead cast, booking Brian Tyree Henry (Vice Principals, The Knick), Lakeith Lee Stanfield (Dope, Selma) and Zazie Beetz (Finding Her) to join star-rapper-comedian Glover (Community) in the hip-hop comedy.

Atlanta was written and created by Glover and centers on the story of two cousins — who have very different philosophies about race, art and success — as they navigate Atlanta’s historic and cultural rap scene.

Glover, who, in real life, raps under the name Childish Gambino, plays Earnest ‘Earn’ Marks, a loner who returns to his hometown of Atlanta to try to make ends meet before being drawn into the rap scene when his cousin, Alfred Miles (Henry), suddenly becomes the city’s hottest thing, skyrocketing into fame. Stanfield plays Darius, Mile’s musical collaborator and right-hand man, while Beetz plays Glover’s on-and-off love interest, Van, with whom he has a daughter.

Though Henry has made appearances on a number of TV shows including The Knick, The Good Wife and Law & Order, he is perhaps best known for originating the role of the General in the hit Trey Parker and Matt Stone Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. Stanfield is coming off a hot year, with appearances in Sundance darling Dope and the MLK drama Selma. He’s set to appear in the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton and the WikiLeaks film Snowden later this year. Beetz, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the scene.

Henry is repped by Hartig Hilepo Agency and JWS Entertainment. Stanfield is repped by Innovative Artists, Colin Stark and Ginsburg Daniels, while Beetz is at Gersh.

Production on the project is underway with Hiro Murai, who has worked previously with Childish Gambino and is directing the pilot. Glover will executive produce the project along with Paul Simms (Girls, Flight of the Conchords) and Dianne McGunigle of MGMT Entertainment. Shooting is set to begin at the end of July.