10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Kevin Durant Prepping Scripted Basketball Drama for Apple
Apple is ready to explore the world of basketball with Kevin Durant.
The tech giant has put into development Swagger, a basketball-themed scripted drama inspired by the NBA superstar's early career. The series, produced by Imagine Television and being written by Reggie Rock Bythewood (Fox's Shots Fired), is inspired by Durant's youth basketball experience and explores the world of Amateur Athletic Union basketball in the nation's capital as well as its players, their families and coaches who walk the line between dreams and ambition as well as opportunism and corruption. (Durant played for the AAU in Maryland, where he was teammates with several future NBA stars.)
Bythewood — who contributed footage for the 2000 feature Love & Basketball, written and directed by his wife, Gina Prince-Bythewood — will pen the script and executive produce alongside Imagine Television's Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. Durant will exec produce via his Thirty Five Media company with Rich Kleiman also attached. Swagger serves as a reunion for Grazer, Calfo and Bythewood, who all teamed for the Fox limited series Shots Fired last season.
Swagger marks the latest scripted series to be put into development at Apple. The company's scripted roster, under Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, also includes Octavia Spencer starrer Are You Sleeping as well as straight-to-series orders such as Little America, Damien Chazelle's untitled drama, Kristin Wiig's untitled comedy, a morning show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, a Ron Moore space drama, Steven Knight's See and Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories anthology, the latter of which recently parted ways with showrunner Bryan Fuller and exec producer Hart Hanson.
Bythewood is repped by CAA and Del Shaw. Durant, who last season earned an NBA championship and was named Finals MVP with the Golden State Warriors, previously won the league's MVP Award with the Oklahoma City Thunder and is a multiple all-star selection and scoring champ.