Steve McQueen Drama Lands HBO Pilot Order, Casts Its Star

Devon Terrell Horizontal - H 2014
Courtesy of HBO

Devon Terrell Horizontal - H 2014

Nearly a year after it was first put in development, HBO is moving forward with its Steve McQueen drama.

The premium cable network has handed out a pilot order to Codes of Conduct and tapped newcomer Devon Terrell to star, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Codes of Conduct is described as a provocative exploration of a young African-American man's experience entering New York high society, with a past that may not be what it seems.

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Terrell will star as Beverly Snow, a young man from Queens who is as talented as he is ambiguous. His self-confidence enables him to break into the social circles of Manhattan's elite, testing the boundaries of access and social mobility. Throughout the series, Beverly's ability will grant him access to a life larger in every way than the one into which he was born. His chameleon-like approach to life will test his nerve as he takes his future into his own hands.

McQueen (12 Years a Slave) co-wrote the pilot script alongside World War Z's Matthew Michael Carnahan. Both will exec produce alongside See-Saw Films' Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King's Speech, Top of the Lake) and Russell Simmons, via the latter's overall deal with HBO. McQueen will direct the pilot, his first foray into television. Canning and Sherman produced McQueen's Shame, with the former also exec producing the Oscar winner's feature debut, Hunger

"I needed to find an extraordinary actor," McQueen said of casting the lead. "Although you're trying to find something you recognize, it's more about finding something you're surprised by. Devon had this quality. It was no easy task casting the character of Beverly Snow and, with the help of HBO, we left no stone unturned. This was a 10-month intense process in which we came across many talented actors, but only one Beverly."

Born in Long Beach, Calif., and raised in Perth, Australia, Terrell studied drama at Edith Cowan University. He was accepted into Australia's prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2011 and has been developing his craft since.

McQueen is repped by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates in the U.K.

For HBO, Codes of Conduct joins fellow drama pilots Westworld; the rock 'n' roll entry from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and George Mastras; and Laughs Unlimited, among others. The cabler's drama slate includes True Detective, Game of Thrones, The Leftovers, Newsroom, Utopia and mini Criminal Justice, among others.

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