HBO has released the second trailer for Ballers, their upcoming comedic drama about the lives of football players, agents, coaches, and managers in Florida. The series is top-lined by Dwayne Johnson, who plays Spencer Strassmore, a former NFL player who turns in the jersey and pigskin for tailored suits and a deal to sign on former friends and new players as the face of a sports management company, run by a sleazy businessman named Joe (Rob Corddry). The trailer feels very much like a more nuanced vision of the sports world, not unlike a slightly less sensationalized version of Oliver Stone‘s Any Given Sunday. The trailer also teases the inherent trouble that comes from getting into business with your friends or, as Johnson’s characters puts it, “monetizing my friendships,” which would seemingly be the thematic spine of the anticipated series.
Peter Berg directs the pilot episode of the series and Stephen Levinson, a producer and Entourage writing staff alumn, will be writing a number of episodes, as will Steve Sharlet, who has worked on The Walking Dead, Happy Town, and Cold Case. It’s as promising a platform for Johnson as anything that he’s released since Pain & Gain, and his pairing with the effortlessly hilarious Corddry is an inspired bit of casting. Considering the Hot Tub Time Machine comedian’s track record of teasing out the humor in the most dark and bleak of events, there’s room enough to believe that we might finally get to see Johnson in a more morally compromised role than he usually allows himself to play.
Ballers premieres on June 21st at 10 p.m. Check out the trailer below.