With the eighth and final season of Entourage airing this summer, show creator Doug Ellin was on the prowl for a new project. Enter Mike Tyson, the legendary boxer who made a cameo on Entourage last season and suggested to Ellin that Tyson’s hardscrabble upbringing deserved the same kind of exploration given to the background of Mark Wahlberg, executive producer of Entourage whose early years in Hollywood provided source material for the popular show.
Variety reports the new HBO drama will be called Da Brick and will focus on a young boxer’s upbringing in Newark, New Jersey, a city whose nickname is “The Brickyard City.” (Tyson grew up in Brooklyn.) Ellin will serve as producer, but the writing will fall to John Ridley, whose credits include the George Clooney/Ice Cube/Wahlberg film Three Kings, as well as sitcoms including The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Barbershop: The Series.
Spike Lee will direct the pilot and also serve as an executive producer.
Ridley and Ellin reportedly spent a considerable amount of time with Tyson gathering material. Ridley in turn helped recruit Lee to the project.
“John wrote an amazingly intricate script,” Ellin said. “There’s lots of places it can go. It won’t just focus on boxing.”
An actor has not yet been cast in the lead role.