On the heels of the riveting and entertaining drama, The People v. O.J. Simpson, folks are buzzing about another controversial show FX Network may be considering. Television audiences looking for the next great American crime story, might be in luck, however it’s the casting choices that will have everyone talking. Complete with a storyline ripped straight from the headlines, the drama, said to still be in development, exposes the seedy underbelly of college athletics. Inspired by the infamous book, Breaking Cardinal Rules, the multi-episode series details the salacious sex scandal at the heart of the University of Louisville men’s basketball program. Producers say the show will be “adrenaline-inducing” and a “whodoneit” intended for mature audiences. The show will pull back the curtain, allowing viewers a private glimpse into the evidence at the heart of the scandal. Audiences are taken on a suspense-filled journey, following the leads and the trail of money, all in a race to uncover the real truth and motives behind those involved. I can imagine the series will be full of thrilling plot twists, involving deceit and betrayal, leaving us all wondering who to trust, and in the end, who’s ultimately to blame. Each episode will leave viewers on the edge of their seats, steadily building to an unbelievable jaw-dropping climax in the final episode. Today I envision the All-Star filled cast of actors picked for the series, shown along side the real life cast of characters they are tasked to portray.
Award-winning American actor, Michael Shannon stars as Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 2008 drama, Revolutionary Road, audiences might remember him as the cold and calculating General Zod, Superman’s main antagonist, in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013) or as an agent with a troubling past in HBO series Boardwalk Empire. The Kentucky native will play the role of the charismatic, manipulative and highly controversial University of Louisville men’s basketball coach, caught in the cross-fire of an lurid NCAA investigation.
PRESIDENT JAMES RAMSEY
David Cross is a comedian, writer and actor known for playing oblivious and blundering characters, on both television and film. He stared in the long-running American sitcom, Arrested Development and the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David. Cross will play the embattled, and floundering leader, with a penchant for faux pas, University of Louisville president, James Ramsey.
A versatile actor of the stage, film and television, Nathan Lane received a Tony Award for his portrayal as the greedy and selfish imposter, Max Bialystock in the Mel Brooks Broadway musical, The Producers. Lane who was recently featured as “Dream Team” attorney, F. Lee Bailey, in The People v. O.J. Simpson, stars as Tom Jurich, the steadfast overseer and University of Louisville Director of Athletics, who’s facing yet another unprecedented scandal to occur under his watch.
Critically acclaimed actress Alfre Woodard plays Katina Powell, the infamous madam who’s book Breaking Cardinal Rules, exposed the scandal at the heart of the NCAA investigation against the University of Louisville. Because Powell is a complex and enigmatic character, the role requires a preeminent actor to play her part. Woodard is the winner of three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards, an Academy Award and even a Grammy Award, making her one of the most accomplished and highly sought-after actors of her generation.
Best known as a sitcom actor, Alfonso Ribeiro is remembered for his lovable characters Alfonso Spears in Silver Spoons, and Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Recently Ribeiro’s shown his talents as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars and now even hosts the somewhat amusing video compilation and poorly titled show, Americas Funniest Videos. Ribeiro is set to star in the most sobering role of his career, playing graduate assistant Andre McGee the man who purportedly financed and served as the middleman in the sex for hire operation involving Louisville basketball recruits and Powell’s escorts.
Irish actor Cillian Murphy known for his roles in the post apocalyptic film 28 Days Later, and as Scarecrow in Batman Begins, stars as Matt Jones, the plucky blogger, journalist, unabashed University of Kentucky fan, and radio talk show host who learns of the scurrilous allegations against the University of Louisville. Despite every attempt to discredit him and even attempts to blame him, he vows to expose the corruption and truth at the heart of the Louisville program, even while shadowy figures vilify and threaten him along the way.
THE CARDINAL MASCOT
English actor and Actors Guild Award winner, Andy Serkis is best known for his performance capture characters such as: Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Caesar in The Planet of the Apes, and most recently Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, stars in his most animated role yet. Serkis is playing the Louisville Cardinal mascot, who will serve as the narrator for the series.
So, are you excited to see the show? What are your thoughts on the casting?