Billy Magnussen, Jessica Hynes to Lead Cast of Sam Mendes HBO Pilot ‘The Franchise’

The half-hour comedy is set in the world of superhero moviemaking

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The cast has been set for Sam Mendes’ upcoming HBO comedy pilot “The Franchise,” which is set in the world of franchise moviemaking.

Billy Magnussen (“No Time to Die”) will star as Adam, Jessica Hynes (“Spaced”) as Steph, Darren Goldstein (“The Affair”) as Pat, Lolly Adefpoe (“Ghosts”) as Dag and Isaac Powell (“Dear Evan Hansen”) as Bryson. Daniel Brühl and Richard E. Grant are also set in recurring roles.

Based on an idea by Mendes (“1917,” “Skyfall”), the story follows a hopeful crew trapped inside the dysfunctional, nonsensical, joyous hellscape of franchise superhero movie-making. If and when they finally make the day, questions still loom: Is this Hollywood’s new dawn or cinema’s last stand? Is this a dream factory or a chemical plant? 

“Veep” and “Avenue 5” alum Armando Iannucci serves as executive producer, while Jon Brown is showrunner, writer and executive producer. Pippa Harris, Nicolas Brown and Julie Pastor are executive producers through Neal Street Productions. Marina Hyde, Keith Akushie and Jim Kleverweis are also executive producers.

The series marks Mendes’ first time directing U.S. television.

Billy Magnussen is represented by UTA, Anonymous Content, and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern and Rogers & Cowan.

Jessica Hynes is represented by Independent Talent Group and Seven Summits Pictures & Management.

Darren Goldstein is represented by Cornerstone Talent Agency and Suskin/Karshan Management.

Lolly Adefope is represented by Dawn Sedgwick Management.

Isaac Powell is represented by CAA, Impression Entertainment and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.

Daniel Brühl is represented by UTA, Tavistock Wood and Players.

Richard E. Grant is represented by Curtis Brown in the U.K. and WME in the U.S.