Michael Shannon to Play Jerry Buss in HBO's Lakers Drama

The Oscar nominee will play team owner Dr. Jerry Buss in the series about the NBA team's 1980s dynasty.
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Michael Shannon (left), Jerry Buss

HBO's drama pilot about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers has added a second castmember in two-time Oscar nominee Michael Shannon.

The Shape of Water and Boardwalk Empire star will play team owner Dr. Jerry Buss, who purchased the team (along with the NHL's Kings and the Forum in Inglewood) in 1979 and was almost as big a name as some of his All-Star players.

In the show, Buss is a self-made millionaire whose success has only amplified his proclivity for risk. He redefines American sports, celebrity and wealth by transforming the Lakers into a dynasty, but his house of cards threatens to collapse on him — and the people he loves most.

Shannon joins Jason Clarke in the cast for the Adam McKay-directed pilot, which was previously known as Showtime after the team's '80s moniker, but is now untitled. Clarke is playing Jerry West, a Lakers legend and general manager of the team during the "Showtime" era.

In addition to directing, Succession's McKay will executive produce the pilot along with partner Kevin Messick, writer Max Borenstein, co-writer of the story Jim Hecht, Jason Shuman, Scott Stephens and Rodney Barnes. The project is based on Jeff Pearlman's book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.

HBO describes the pilot as "a fast-break series chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports' most revered and dominant dynasties — a team that defined its era, both on and off the court."

Shannon's recent credits include AMC's miniseries The Little Drummer Girl and HBO's Fahrenheit 451, along with feature films The Current War, Knives Out and What They Had. He is repped by CAA, Wetzel Entertainment Group and Morris Yorn.