Amazon made a serious splash at Comic-Con pushing its sci-fi drama, The Man in the High Castle, with a panel as well as virtual reality experience in San Diego. Today, Deadline reports that Amazon announced another major addition to its drama slate with The Last Tycoon, which it has picked up to series. It’s no wonder that the show was picked up, because the project features a number of heavy hitters, including Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Rosemarie DeWitt and Lily Collins.
Deadline reports that The Last Tycoon is written and directed by Billy Ray, and it’s based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel. The novel follows Monroe Stahr and was said to have been inspired by the life of film mogul Irving Thalberg. Bomer will play Stahr, a young studio executive in the 1930s as he climbs to power. Grammer plays Stahr’s mentor, the pompous but charming Pat Brady, who is based on the famed co-founder of MGM, Louis B. Mayer. Brady’s character has a chip on his shoulder from a life on the streets, so he holds very tightly to the life he has made. He is determined to make sure his studio is successful, no matter who or what gets in the way.
This isn’t the first adaptation of The Last Tycoon, however. In 1976 Elia Kazan directed a big screen adaptation that was written by Harold Pinter. Stahr and Brady were played by Robert De Niro and Robert Mitchum, respectively. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill for Bomer and Grammer.
Bomer is most well-known for his lead role on the USA procedural drama White Collar. Grammer is, of course, famous for his titular role in Frasier, but he has also recently starred in FX’s comedy, Partners.
Deadline reports that The Last Tycoon is being executive produced by Billy Ray. He and Chris Keyser will serve as showrunners. Josh Maurer, David Stern and Alix Witlin will also serve as executive producers. To maintain accuracy to Fitzgerald’s work, A. Scott Berg, an F.Scott Fitzgerald scholar, served as a consulting producer on the pilot. The pilot is produced by Sony TV’s TriStar Television. Deadline also reports that Amazon’s other drama pilot, The Interestings, is not going forward.