- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Onyx Collective, the Disney studio focused on underrepresented communities including creators of color, continues to ramp up its originals.
The studio has handed out a pilot order for comedy Deli Boys, starring Asif Ali and Saagar Shaikh, from writer and creator Abdullah Saeed (High Maintenance).
The comedy revolves around a pair of pampered Pakistani-American brothers who, after their convenience store magnate father suddenly dies, lose everything and are forced to reckon with their Baba’s secret life of crime as they attempt to take up his mantle in the underworld.
Ali (Marvel’s WandaVision, Don’t Worry Darling, The Mandalorian) will play Mir Dar, the hardworking and enthusiastic son who is eager to impress his father, Baba, a scrappy immigrant who arrived in the U.S. broke and built an empire from scratch. Shaikh (Ms. Marvel, The Marvels) will portray Raj Dar, Baba’s other son, who is described as the antithesis of his younger brother Mir. Whereas Mir is a straight-shooter, Raj is a pot-smoking, entitled playboy, an outrageous hipster who wraps his joints in gold paper and lives the high life on his father Baba’s millions. Spoiled from birth, he has never had to lift a finger and thinks Mir is a sucker for taking life so seriously.
Also cast in the comedy is Alfie Fuller (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Little America) as Prairie, Raj’s shaman, an Afro-futurist hipster who lives with him and various other hangers-on in “stoner heaven” luxury.
Saeed created the series and is writing the script for Disney’s 20th Television. He exec produces alongside Jenni Konner (Girls, Single Drunk Female), Vali Chandrasekaran (Modern Family, 30 Rock) and Nora Silver. Nisha Ganatra (Late Night, The High Note, Welcome to Chippendales) will also direct and exec produce the pilot.
Saeed is a Pakistani-American writer, producer, reporter, host and actor, who is best known for creating and producing Vice programming including Bong Appetit and road trip series Vice Does America. He’s repped by Gersh, Principal Entertainment L.A. and Felker Toczek.
Deli Boys marks the latest scripted venture for Onyx Collective, the studio that is overseen by Freeform president Tara Duncan whose originals stream on Hulu. Onyx’s roster of originals also includes The Hair Dales, Reasonable Doubt, The Other Black Girl, Unprisoned and The Plot, with a roster of overall deals with the likes of Prentice Penny, Yara Shahidi, Ryan Coogler, Destin Daniel Cretton and Natasha Rothwell, among others.
Ali is repped by CAA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management and Goodman Genow. Shaikh is with Gersh and El Centro. Fuller is repped by Lasher Group and Artists & Representatives. Ganatra is with CAA and Morris Yorn. Konner, who like Chandrasekaran has an overall deal with 20th Television, is with CAA. Chandrasekaran is with UTA and Management 360.
Updated 9:26 a.m.: This story has been updated to reflect that Deli Boys is a comedy.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day