Apple taps Black Panther star as lead in basketball TV show


Winston Duke speaks at Comic-Con International in 2017.
Winston Duke speaks at Comic-Con International in 2017.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

Swagger, the Apple TV+ series based on Kevin Durant’s experiences in youth basketball, finally found its lead actor. Winston Duke, most recognizable for his role as M’Baku in Marvel’s Black Panther movie, reportedly landed the top role in the show.

Swagger should start production later this month.

Written and directed by Reggie Rock Bythewood, Swagger will explore the world of youth basketball. It will deal with everything from the coaches to the players and their families (along with the agents and brands trying to make money off them). Brian Gazer, who helped produce another hit sports TV show called Friday Night Lights, is set to be one of the executive producers on the project.

Winston Duke will star in Swagger

In Swagger, Duke will play a youth basketball coach and former star player. This will be his first major TV role since his stint on CBS’ Person of Interest. You might also recognize him from Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed film Us, which came out earlier this year.

The rest of the cast remains unnamed. Apple TV+ probably won’t air the show until later next year. Imagine Television Studios is producing Swagger along with Durant’s company Thirty Five Ventures and CBS TV Studios.

Apple TV+ will launch on November 1 for $4.99 per month. The first TV shows available at launch will include See featuring Aquaman star Jason Momoa, The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, the space drama For All Mankind, Dickinson starring Hailey Steinfield and a couple of kids shows and movies.