Us star Winston Duke has signed on to play the lead in Apple’s basketball drama Swagger. NBA superstar Kevin Durant is involved in the project, which is inspired by his own experiences.
The show will explore the world of youth basketball, and “the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, as well as opportunism and corruption”. Duke will play a former star player who finds his second act as a coach to a young team.
Writer-director Reggie Rock Bythewood will also serve as showrunner, while Durant will executive produce alongside Imagine’s Brian Glazer. Production will reportedly begin this month and the show will debut on Apple TV+ sometime next year. The idea, unsurprisingly, is to time the premiere around Durant’s own return to the court as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
This is a great role for Duke, who’s really broken out in the last few years. He stole the show as M’Baku in Black Panther before snagging the lead in Jordan Peele‘s Us. Considering Apple’s big marketing push for their streaming service, as well as Durant’s role, Swagger should be a pretty big deal. Duke’s star continues to rise. He’ll next be seen in Peter Berg‘s Boston-based crime drama Wonderland.
The show itself may have an early rival though. Adam McKay is also developing an untitled series about the Showtime-era Los Angeles Lakers that will star John C. Reilly and Jason Clarke. That’s at HBO. As the NBA transitions from an era of Warriors dominance, perhaps the next great basketball rivalry will be off the court.