A drama pilot is in the works entitled CODES OF CONDUCT from producer/director Steve McQueen and a lead male has recently been attached by the name of Devon Terrell. We first gave you a heads up on McQueen’s development deal almost a year ago. You know the drill, if HBO likes the pilot and can be convinced that a season of shows can be generated at the right cost (each seems less of a big deal when a season can be as few as six episodes any more) than a show is born.
The show certainly has a good developer in Steve McQueen (pictured). Yeah he started with a long list of shorts, but after that was Shame followed by (boom!) the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, AFI Award and Golden Globe winning 12 Years A Slave. Also he is linked up with Matthew Michael Carnahan who will co-write. He has penned such works as The Kingdom, State of Play and World War Z. Onboard as producers are Russell Simmons (who has his own separate development deal), Ian Canning and Emile Sherman.
What is the basis of this pilot and potential series? One equation that surfaced on Deadline is Six Degrees of Separation meets Shame. To run with that formula we have a premise from the former title of an affluent New York couple dealing with a young black man surprisingly entering their life and the latter film gives us an inner city lad spiraling frustratingly out of control. The actual premise of CODES OF CONDUCT is simply stated as a provocative exploration of a young black man’s experience entering New York high society. Either way you look at it McQueen will capture the experience alright, but my only question is does this take place in modern-day ‘high society’ or in some other era? We will have to get clarification on issues like that down the line.
The young man learning all the codes of conduct high society will throw at him will be Devon Terrell. Haven’t heard of him? You wouldn’t because his filmography doesn’t exist; he has never appeared onscreen. He has, however, recently graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Australia. Mr. McQueen said of his choice, however –
“I needed to find an extraordinary actor. Although you’re trying to find something you recognize, it’s more about finding something you’re surprised by. Devon Terrell (pictured) had this quality. It was no easy task casting the character of Beverly Snow and, with the help of HBO, we left no stone unturned. This was a 10-month intense process in which we came across many talented actors, but only one Beverly.”
The lead character, according to my credited source, is a young man from Queens as talented as he is ambiguous. His self-confidence will enable him to break into the social circles of Manhattan’s elite, testing the boundaries of access and social mobility. Throughout the series, Beverly’s ability will grant him access to a life larger in every way than the one to which he was born. His chameleon-like approach to life will test his nerve as he takes his future into his own hands. There is a bit to mull over there. Are you excited that Steve McQueen content may be on the schedule? Does the premise and character pique your interest? Let us know below and keep your eyes out for what happens to CODES OF CONDUCT.