Steve McQueen, the director behind odes to human suffering like 12 Years A Slave and Shame, has found a leading man for Codes Of Conduct, his upcoming HBO pilot. Codes Of Conduct will follow a young black man named Beverly Snow who uses his self-confidence to break into the upper circles of Manhattan society—possibly because the lower circles wouldn’t stop making fun of his name. To play Snow, McQueen has chosen Devon Terrell, an unknown with no prior screen credits. “It was no easy task casting the character of Beverly Snow and, with the help of HBO, we left no stone unturned,” McQueen said, determined to keep saying that name until it becomes cool. “This was a 10-month intense process in which we came across many talented actors, but only one Beverly.”
As previously reported, McQueen developed the show with World War Z co-writer Matthew Michael Carnahan, who co-wrote the script for the pilot that McQueen will direct. Casting an unknown for the lead certainly suggests McQueen has a lot of confidence in the ability of that material to captivate HBO’s audience—but he should also be aware that adding a fire-breathing dragon or three never hurts.