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Add Jake Gyllenhaal to the list of A-list stars who are heading for television.
The actor will make his TV debut in HBO limited series Lake Success, which, in addition to starring in, he will also executive produce for the premium cable network.
Based on Gary Shteyngart’s book Lake Success, the drama revolves around Barry Cohen (Gyllenhaal), a narcissistic, self-deluded and hilariously divorced from the real-world hedge fund manager who flees his family, his past and the SEC on a cross-country bus ride in search of his college girlfriend and a last chance at romantic redemption. Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, his brilliant wife Seema struggles to raise their autistic son and begins a tragicomic love affair of her own.
Shteyngart will adapt his book and co-write the script alongside Tom Spezialy (The Leftovers, Watchmen, Castle Rock). Both will serve as showrunners and will exec produce alongside Gyllenhaal and his Nine Stories banner topper Riva Marker. The series, which is currently in development, will be produced by Endeavor Content and Nine Stories.
“Gary’s novel is a beautifully executed character study highlighting the depth of human contradiction and complication, set against the timely backdrop of America today,” Gyllenhaal and Marker said Thursday in a joint statement. “We are thrilled to partner with HBO, who has consistently been home to some of the most exciting and acclaimed premium content over the past two decades.”
Gyllenhaal joins sister Maggie Gyllenhaal at HBO, with the latter starring on the third and final season of David Simon’s The Deuce this year. With Lake Success, Jake Gyllenhaal will reteam with Marker, who previously produced the sold-out Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George, in which the actor starred opposite Annaleigh Ashford. Gyllenhaal and Marker founded Nine Stories in 2015 and has produced features including Wildlife, Stronger, Hondros and Netflix’s upcoming feature The Devil All the Time, starring Tom Holland, Chris Evans and Robert Pattinson. The company remains aggressive in the source material space, developing a number of projects after optioning source material. Gyllenhaal’s previous producing credits include the features End of Watch and Nightcrawler. Marker’s credits include The Kids Are All Right and Beasts of No Nation.
For Spezialy’s part, Lake Success extends his relationship with HBO, where he currently serves as an exec producer on Damon Lindelof’s upcoming take on Watchmen. Spezialy is repped by CAA, Manage-ment and Jackoway Austen.
Shteyngart, meanwhile, is the award-winning author behind the memoir Little Failure and the novels Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. Lake Success was named one of the best books of 2018 on more than 30 lists, including The New York Times, NPR and more. He is repped by CAA, Denise Shannon Literary Agency and attorney Ryan Nord.
Gyllenhaal’s credits include Velvet Buzzsaw, Wildlife and Brokeback Mountain. He and Nine Stories are repped by WME and Bloom Hergott. Marker is with WME and Paul Hastings.
Lake Success arrives as HBO is under a mandate to increase its originals under new corporate parent WarnerMedia. The premium cable network has been aggressive in landing projects from top talent behind and in front of the camera as it looks to better compete with billion-dollar spenders including Netflix, Apple and Amazon, among a growing list of other competitors. HBO’s scripted roster includes originals from J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon, which will join such series as Big Little Lies, Westworld, Euphoria, Gentleman Jack, Gorilla and the Bird, His Dark Materials, Insecure, Lovecraft Country, The Outsider, The New Pope, Righteous Gemstones and several others. The news comes as the juggernaut Game of Thrones begins its final season Sunday.
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