Universal Casts Mookie Cook As Young LeBron James In Shooting Stars

High school basketball star Mookie Cook will play the young Lebron James in "Shooting Stars," the upcoming Peacock film adaptation of the 2009 memoir by James and "Friday Night Lights" author Buzz Bissinger. Caleb McLaughlin of "Stranger Things" fame will co-star.

"Shooting Stars" recently commenced production in Akron, Ohio, where current Los Angeles Laker James grew up before he went on to play first for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA. The book details his high school years and relationships with friends and teammates as they competed in national championships. According to The Hollywood Reporter, McLaughlin — who also co-starred in Netflix's "Concrete Cowboy" with Idris Elba and is known for his pioneering work as Young Simba on Broadway in "The Lion King" — will take on the role of "Dru Joyce III, [James'] best friend and the son of the boys' coach."

Wood Harris, who also played Coach C opposite James in "Space Jam: A New Legacy," will play the father and coach. As for Cook, he's presently attending AZ Compass Prep School in Chandler, Arizona. He will graduate in 2023, and in the ESPN 100 recruiting index for that year, he currently ranks #8 overall and is the #2 small forward in the nation. Last month, he committed to joining the Oregon Ducks basketball team at the University of Oregon.

Details on the cast and crew of Shooting Stars

"Shooting Stars" is set to be helmed by Chris Robinson, whose previous directorial credits include episodes of "Black-ish" and the feature films "ATL" and "Beats." Frank E. Flowers, Juel Taylor, and Tony Rettenmaier are handling the adapted screenplay.

THR reports that Katlyn Nichol, who played Olivia Lockhart in the final seasons of "Black-ish," will appear in "Shooting Stars" as James' high school sweetheart and future wife, Savannah James (née Brinson). Natalie Paul ("Show Me a Hero," "Crown Heights") will play James' mother, Gloria.

Algee Smith, known for his roles in "Detroit" and "Euphoria," and Avery Wills, whose only previous screen credit is the Apple TV+ series, "Swagger," will play Illya McGee and Willie McGee, two more of James' friends. "Swagger" is based on the experiences of another NBA player, Kevin Durant, and is co-produced by Brian Grazer, who was also behind the acclaimed "Friday Night Lights" TV series, adapted for NBC from Bissinger's bestselling book.

Rounding out the cast of "Shooting Stars" is Dermot Mulroney ("My Best Friend's Wedding," "The Grey"), who will play Coach Keith Dambrot. Scoot Henderson, another pro basketball player for the NBA's developmental G League Ignite team, will costar as Romeo Travis, who played alongside James at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School. Khalil Everage ("Cobra Kai") will play Sian Cotton, another member of James's "Fab Five" high school team.

"Shooting Stars" is in production now.