Jack Black, Tim Robbins to Star in HBO Comedy 'The Brink'

The dark comedy pilot from Jerry Weintraub, Jay Roach and Roberto Benabib will center on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men.
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Tim Robbins, left, Jack Black

Jack Black and Tim Robbins are headed to The Brink.

The half-hour dark comedy from executive producers Jerry WeintraubJay Roach and Roberto Benabib was ordered to pilot at HBO in September. The entry focuses on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men.

Robbins is set to play Walter Hollander, the U.S. secretary of state, who is billed as a man of big appetites and little patience for the war mongers in the Situation Room, while Black will take on the part of Alex Coppins, a lowly foreign service officer reluctantly caught on the ground in the middle of it all. The third role, ace Navy fighter pilot Zeke Callahan, has not yet been cast.

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Weeds alum Benabib and his brother, Kim Benabib, will pen the script. Roberto Benabib, Weintraub and Roach will executive produce, with Kim Benabib garnering a co-EP credit. Roach is set to direct the pilot, and Black and Robbins will be producers as well. 

This is not the first collaboration for the actors. Back in 1995, Robbins directed Black in the celebrated crime drama Dead Man Walking. A decade or so later, Robbins turned up in the Black-penned comedy, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny.

For Black, this marks a return to his roots, having launched his career with commercials and early TV roles on series such as Life Goes On, Northern Exposure and Mr. Show. The comedic actor is far better known for his starring roles on the big screen, with credits including School of Rock, Nacho Libre and Bernie. Robbins, who counts an Oscar among his accolades, comes to the effort with a weighty film resume, with entries ranging from The Shawshank Redemption to Mystic River. 

Both actors bring a fair amount of cachet to the project, which is one of two comedy pilots in contention at HBO. (The other is Dwayne Johnson's Pain & Gain.) Should either -- or both -- move forward, it would join a comedy lineup that already includes such shows as Girls, Veep, Hello Ladies and newcomer Getting On.

Black is repped by WME and Warren Dern of Sloane Offer; Robbins is repped by ICM Partners and Elaine Goldsmith Thomas.

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com
Twitter: @LaceyVRose