By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com June 29, 2011 at 2:14AM
As far as starts to careers go for young actors, having your first role in the first-line-up of hugely popular U.K. teen series "Skins," and then going on to the lead role in a global hit that swept the Oscars, namely "Slumdog Millionaire," isn't a bad one, and Dev Patel must consider himself fairly blessed. But things have been rockier since then for the 21-year-old British actor, with his follow-up to Danny Boyle's film being in M. Night Shyamalan's much-mocked "The Last Airbender," a film which no one came out of smelling of roses.
But to his credit, the actor seems to be choosing subsequent roles a little more carefully: he has the lead in John Madden's Oscar-baity drama "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," topping a cast that includes Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith, and is currently shooting the indie drama "Cherry" with James Franco and Heather Graham. And now, Patel's just bagged a part in something particularly exciting, as Variety reports that the star is the latest name to join the cast of Aaron Sorkin's HBO pilot "More As This Story Develops."
The show, which revolves around the behind-the-scenes dramas at a cable news network, already has an impressive cast, with Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McCallister, Emily Mortimer as his ex-lover, and new executive producer, Mackenzie MacHale, Sam Waterston as network president Charlie Skinner, Allison Pill as youthful, brilliant producer Maggie, and Olivia Munn as Sloan, a financial reporter. Josh Pence, John Gallagher Jr. and Thomas Sadoski all recently joined as well, as young employees on Daniels' show.
Variety doesn't have firm word on who Patel will play, but five will get you ten that it's Neal, described in Sorkin's script as "a handsome young Indian staffer." The character doesn't have a huge amount to do in the pilot, but we're sure that he'll be fleshed out more if and when (and considering the pedigree, it's when) the show goes to series. Filming on the pilot, directed by "Adventureland" and "Paul" helmer Greg Mottola, is getting underway any day now, and we'll likely see the full series on HBO some time in 2012.