Variety is exclusively reporting that O’Shea Jackson Jr. has signed on for the lead role in Apple’s basketball drama series Swagger, replacing Winston Duke who had to drop out due to an on-set injury.
Swagger is a series that’s inspired by NBA superstar Kevin Durant’s basketball experiences, exploring the world of youth basketball, the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption.
Winston Duke made a statement saying:
Thank you to Imagine, CBS and Apple TV for the opportunity to have collaborated on this project. As I work toward a full recovery in the coming months, I look forward to joining everyone on future endeavours. Congratulations to O’Shea – I have no doubt that he’ll shine in this role.
O’Shea Jackson Jr. (whose credits include Straight Outta Compton and Just Mercy) also released a statement saying:
I’m thrilled to be involved with such a profound and impactful project that stands for family, explores the development and growth of today’s youth, involves the game of basketball, and most importantly addresses such key social issues which are tackled throughout the series. ‘Swagger’ is an opportunity to explore a fresh, multi-dimensional character under the guidance of an amazing director like Reggie Rock and his team on a daily basis.
Variety’s sources also state that Jackson (who will now play the role of Ike) has been highly interested in the series since it’s been in development and had been offered a different role during the casting process but was unable to accept at the time it was offered.
Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures will be producing the series alongside Imagine Television Studios and CBS TV Studios, with the series written and directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood. Bythewood will serve as executive producer alongside Durant, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Rich Kleiman and Samantha Corbin Miller.