“There’s two things in this world that make me believe in God,” actor John C. Reilly said in a mustache and coiffed ’80s hair. “It’s sex and basketball.”
The camera pans out and we see that Reilly’s in bed with a blonde-haired woman and they’re both covered in silk gold-colored sheets. The woman is uninterested.
“Her loss,” he said. “I’m about to buy a team.”
Those words kick off the first trailer for a new HBO Max show called Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty. It’s a show based on a book by author Jeff Pearlman called Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.
The show is from Adam McKay (who also has the Netflix movie Don’t Look Up coming out this year) and it follows the story of the Lakers during a historical time of basketball dominance.
The show appears delightfully retro in its presentations, complete with jangly guitar music, washed-out camera shots, and players in short shorts reflective of the era. Reilly plays former Lakers majority owner Jerry Buss, Harlem Globetrotter Dr. Solomon Hughes plays Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Quincy Isaiah portrays Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Other standout casting choices include Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Jason Segel as Paul Westhead and Sally Field as Jessie Buss.
There’s been some drama in the casting department as well. McKay said that casting Reilly in the role of Lakers owner Buss cost him his friendship with funny man Will Ferrell. The two have collaborated on some of the most successful comedy movies in the past few decades, including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Step Brothers.
They announced they were ending their working relationship in 2019.
“The two of us will always work together creatively and always be friends. And we recognize we are lucky as hell to end this venture as such,” the two said in a statement at the time.
McKay recently spoke with Vanity Fair and went into a little bit more detail about what happened.
“The truth is, the way the show was always going to be done, it’s hyperrealistic. And Ferrell just doesn’t look like Jerry Buss, and he’s not that vibe of a Jerry Buss. And there were some people involved who were like, ‘We love Ferrell, he’s a genius, but we can’t see him doing it.’ It was a bit of a hard discussion,” McKay said.
The main issue was that he apparently didn’t call Ferrell and let him know personally.
“Didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Wanted to be respectful . . . I should have called [Ferrell] and I didn’t. And Reilly did, of course, because Reilly, he’s a stand-up guy.”
Winning Time: The Rise Of The Lakers Dynasty premieres in March of 2022.