O’Shea Jackson Jr Replaces Winston Duke as Lead of Kevin Durant’s Apple Basketball Drama ‘Swagger’

“Black Panther” star suffered an on-set injury

Last Updated: February 5, 2020 @ 8:27 AM

O’Shea Jackson Jr. will replace Winston Duke as the star of Apple’s basketball drama “Swagger” from Kevin Durant.

Duke suffered an injury on set that forced him to drop out, an individual with knowledge of the series tells TheWrap. Now Jackson will star as Ike, a youth basketball coach and former star player.

“Thank you to Imagine, CBS and Apple TV for the opportunity to have collaborated on this project,”Duke said. “As I work toward a full recovery in the coming months, I look forward to joining everyone on future endeavors. Congratulations to O’Shea – I have no doubt that he’ll shine in this role.”

“Swagger” is inspired by Durant’s youth basketball experiences, and explores the world of youth basketball, and the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption.

“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,” Jackson said in a statement. “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.”

The series is written, directed and executive produced by Reggie Rock Bythewood (“Shots Fired,” Notorious) who also serves as showrunner. “Swagger” comes from Imagine Television, Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures, and CBS Television Studios. Other executive producers include Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Durant and his manager, Rich Kleiman. James Seidman is the Imagine executive on the project; Sarah Flynn will do the same for Thirty Five Ventures.

Jackson is best known for playing his father, Ice Cube, in the 2015 film “Straight Outta Compton.” He’s also appeared in “Just Mercy,” “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “Ingrid Goes West.”

Variety was first to report on the casting change.

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