– Currently in Production in Los Angeles –
New York, NY – March 9, 2015 – Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire, The Wire) is confirmed as the lead in fictional literary author Eric Jonrosh’s latest book-to-screen adaption, The Spoils Before Dying. In addition Will Ferrell will reprise his role as Jonrosh, the booze-soaked author turned director who opens and closes each riveting episode. Considered too risqué for the safe and sanitized living rooms of a 1950’s postwar nation, the six-part comedic miniseries will be coming to screens for the first time this summer, on IFC.
A pulp-noir murder mystery set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles’ jazz scene, The Spoils Before Dying follows down-and-out pianist Rock Banyon (Michael Kenneth Williams) who becomes the prime suspect when his lead singer and occasional lover is found violently murdered in a car with another man. With the death of two people hanging over his head, Rock has only 72 hours to clear his name or fry in the electric chair. Determined to prove his innocence, Rock goes on an elusive quest for the truth that takes him into an abyss of sex, murder, love, betrayal, and of course, jazz.
“We’ve been spoiled by the talent we’ve been able to attract to this franchise,” said Jennifer Caserta, IFC’s president. “We know Michael will bring the same swagger of his previous larger-than-life roles to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a dangerous world that was too hot for television.”
Best known for his iconic roles of Omar Little (The Wire) and Chalky White (Boardwalk Empire), Michael was also recently seen starring with Mark Wahlberg in The Gambler and PT Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Michael will next be seen starring in the HBO Film Bessie with Queen Latifah and then in the HBO/BBC miniseries from Steve Zaillian Crime, where he stars with John Turturro.
The Spoils Before Dying is produced by Funny Or Die and executive produced by Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young. Steele and Piedmont return as writers, with Piedmont also directing.
Jonrosh first introduced television audiences to his storytelling brilliance with the masterful adaptation of his novel The Spoils of Babylon, a sweeping chronicle of the captivating Morehouse family. One of IFC’s most watched and buzzed-about comedies, The Spoils of Babylon showcased a historic cast, including Jessica Alba, Will Ferrell, Jellybean Howie, Val Kilmer, Tobey Maguire, Haley Joel Osment, Tim Robbins, Michael Sheen, Steve Tom and Kristen Wiig, with cameos by Molly Shannon and David Spade. Kristen Wiig was nominated for an Emmy™ in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or Movies for her role as Cynthia Morehouse. The Spoils of Babylon is available for streaming now on Netflix.
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Funny Or Die launched in April 2007 and has become an award-wining top destination for comedy on the web. The site has over 19 million unique users per month, over 60 million video views per month, and has grown into a vertically integrated digital studio that produces high quality content over numerous platforms, operating a social media and marketing division with over 9 million Twitter followers, approximately 11 million Facebook fans (#1 Comedy Brand on both Twitter and Facebook), and devoted followers on numerous social networking and sharing sites. Funny Or Die has become the “place to be seen” for comedic celebrities, and the obvious destination for a daily comedy fix. Funny Or Die’s founders are Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and Michael Kvamme. Judd Apatow is also a principal partner in Funny Or Die.