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Spike Lee, Mike Tyson, Doug Ellin Team Up for HBO Drama Series, 'Da Brick'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 22nd 2011 7:11AM
Mike TysonMike Tyson's been undergoing a career resurgence of late. Since his cameo in 'The Hangover' introduced audiences to a more lighthearted side of the former boxing world champion, he's had his own TV show about pigeon fancying and appeared in the Argentine version of 'Dancing With the Stars.'

Now comes news that he's teamed up with filmmaker Spike Lee and 'Entourage' creator Doug Ellin to develop a drama series for HBO loosely based on his experiences growing up.

According to Deadline.com, 'Da Brick' is "described as a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America." The drama will be set in Newark, NJ -- nicknamed "brick city" -- in the current day.

'Da Brick' will be written by John Ridley ('Three Kings,' 'Third Watch'). Ellin, Ridley, Lee, Tyson and Jim Lefkowitz are all executive producing, with Tyson's wife Lakiha Tyson and Azim Spicer, CEO of Las Vegas' SpiceReel Prods., co-executive producing.

Although the project is still in the development stage, HBO has hired a casting director to look for young black actors who can handle themselves in a boxing ring.

Ellin and Lefkowitz's hit HBO comedy 'Entourage' was inspired by Mark Wahlberg's early experiences in Hollywood, and they met Tyson when he played himself in an episode last year. The original germ of an idea for 'Da Brick' came out of a meeting Ellin and Tyson had on the set: "That's when Mike asked me, why don't do with my life what we did with Mark's life," Ellin said.

"The initial idea was 'Entourage' meets 'The Wire'," he added. "An edgy story about an up-and-coming boxer and his crew that is much more dramatic than 'Entourage.'"

'Entourage' Season 8 premieres Sunday July 24th on HBO.

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This sounds incredibly promising. It sounds like what "Lights Out" should have been, a gritty drama about an up-and-coming boxer who actually fits the profile of the sport in its current state.

I loved "Lights Out", but it was clearly irrelevant for today's world of Boxing. The last time there was a white American Heavyweight Champ was Tommy Morrison. in the mid-90s.

What would be really cool would be a story about a Mexican or other foreign fighter growing up on the streets and becoming a world-class fighter.

June 22 2011 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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