USA Network has set the cast and director for the pilot MASTERS OF DOOM. The pilot will star Eduardo Franco (“Booksmart”), Patrick Gibson (“The OA”), John Karna (“Valley of the Boom”), Jane Ackermann (“Neptune”) and Siobhan Williams (“Deadly Class”). Peter Friedman (“Succession”) will recur as a guest star.
The pilot will be directed by Emmy® Award winner Rhys Thomas, best known for his work on “Documentary Now!” and “Saturday Night Live.”
- Eduardo Franco (“Booksmart”) will star as John Romero, a brilliant young programmer and designer determined to become the video game industry's first rock star.
- Eduardo Franco is most known for his role as Theo in the feature “Booksmart,” directed by Olivia Wilde, as well as his role as Jeremy in the feature “The Package,” directed by Jake Szymanski. He will next be seen in the feature “The Binge” directed by Jeremy Garelick. Franco recurred on the first season of the series “American Vandal,” and his other television credits include “Adam Ruins Everything,” “You’re the Worst” and “The Skinny.” Franco is represented by UTA and Mosaic.
- Patrick Gibson (“The OA”) will star as John Carmack, a self-taught genius whose unparalleled programming skill allows him to help create the first-person-shooter genre—and lay the groundwork for the rise of virtual reality.
- Patrick Gibson has appeared in multiple television series and miniseries including “The OA,” “The White Princess” and “Guerrilla.” Additional credits include “Tolkien,” “The Darkest Minds,” “In a Relationship” and “What Richard Did.” Gibson is represented by ARG in the UK and ICM Partners.
- John Karna (“Valley of the Boom”) will play Tom Hall, a tragically lovable young game designer who becomes the heart and soul of the two Johns' groundbreaking company, iD Software.
- John Karna can recently be seen opposite Lucas Hedges and Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s award winning feature “Lady Bird,” produced by Scott Rudin. Karna recently starred in two limited series, “Valley of the Boom” and “Dirty John,” and previously starred as the lead role on “Scream.” Karna can also be seen in the comedy “Premature” opposite Alan Tudyk, Craig Roberts and Katie Findley. Karna is represented by Gersh, Coronel Group, and McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP.
- Jane Ackermann (“Neptune”) will play Hannah Romero, a young wife and mother whose support for her husband, John Romero, is pushed to its breaking point by his unrelenting focus on games.
- Jane Ackermann made her acting debut in the independent feature film “Neptune,” directed by Derek Kimball, which premiered at Slamdance Film Festival. Her performance earned her many awards including Best Actress at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival, Best Young Actress at Woodshole Film Festival and Best Actor at the BendFilm Festival. Ackermann has also been featured in the short film “In His House” and the horror anthology series “60 Seconds to Die.” Ackermann is represented by Innovative Artists.
- Siobhan Williams (“Deadly Class”) will play Stevie Case, a brash and charismatic young woman who becomes one of the first female professional gamers—and John Romero's girlfriend.
- Born in Cambridge, England, and raised in Canada, Siobhan Williams first broke into the film and television world with a recurring role on the series “Heartland.” She also recurred on “Level Up” and had a lead role in the feature film “Flicka: Country Pride,” which garnered her a Young Artist Award nomination. Additional television credits include “Black Box,” “Hell on Wheels,” “UnREAL,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” “Hit the Road,” “Van Helsing,” “Valley of the Boom,” “Deadly Class” and most recently wrapped production on “Sacred Lies.” In film, Williams can be seen in the independent western feature “Forsaken,” “Adventures in Public School” opposite Judy Greer and Russell Peters, and “Welcome to Marwen.” Williams is represented by Alchemy Entertainment, Play Management and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer.
- Peter Friedman (“Succession”) will recur as Al Vekovius, the 1987 Shreveport Businessman of the Year, whose Louisiana company, Softdisk, brings the two Johns together and sponsors their first forays as professional game designers.
- Peter Friedman is currently a series regular on the Emmy-nominated series, “Succession.” Additionally, he has recurred on “The Affair,” “The Path,” and “High Maintenance.” A staple of the New York theatre scene, Friedman was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for his performance in “The Treasurer” and last seen in “Beast in the Jungle,” directed by Susan Stroman at Vineyard Theatre. Friedman is represented by Lasher Group, Cornerstone Talent and Felker, Toczek, Suddleson, Abramson LLP.
- Rhys Thomas (“Documentary Now!”) will direct the pilot.
- Rhys Thomas is an Emmy Award-winning director/producer best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and “Documentary Now!,” which he co-created and directed along with Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers. Thomas most recently directed the pilot for the upcoming series “Chad” starring Nasim Pedrad. In 2018, Thomas directed the pilot “Kansas City” and directed an episode of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Previously, he directed “Comrade Detective” starring Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. On the feature side, Thomas is currently developing “Captain Infinity.” Thomas is in post-production on John Mulaney’s upcoming stand-up special, produced Adele’s concert special, “Adele: Live In New York City,” and directed John Mulaney’s Emmy-nominated stand-up special “The Comeback Kid.” Thomas is represented by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
Headshots can be found here.
- MASTERS OF DOOM, based on award-winning journalist and author David Kushner's landmark nonfiction book of the same name, is a story based on real events of two computer geniuses in an obscure corner of America who, along with a group of rebellious misfits, created one of the biggest franchise hits of the 90s, the video game DOOM. John Carmack and John Romero were best friends who became bitter rivals, as they created a video game empire and transformed pop culture forever.
- From UCP, MASTERS OF DOOM will be written by WGA Award winner Tom Bissell, who will also serve as executive producer. Bissell is a writer on the “Gears of War,” “Battlefield,” and “Uncharted” video game franchises; author of nine books, including “Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter”; and co-author of the New York Times bestseller “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made.” His short fiction has also been anthologized in multiple editions of the “Best American Short Stories” series.
- Also serving as executive producers are Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Eric Robinson and Jeremy Bell of The Gotham Group; James Franco, Dave Franco, Vince Jolivette and Elizabeth Haggard of Ramona Films; and Kushner. D.J. Goldberg of The Gotham Group will serve as co-executive producer.
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