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Ke Nui Road - What We Know So Far

After the success of the drama "White Lotus," HBO Max is exploring another side of Hawaii with the new series "Ke Nui Road." The dramatic project from Warner Bros. Television focuses on lifeguards as they mentor the next generation of rescuers, as well as the local surfers. Along the way, they learn about the complexities and heartaches that come along with the job. It hails from Matt Kester, John Wells, and Erin Jontow; the trio previously worked together on the TNT series "Animal Kingdom."

Much like with "Animal Kingdom," Kester is writing the pilot while Wells is set to direct; both will act as executive producers. Jontow, executive producer on the Netflix limited series "Maid," will also be an EP. As of November 2021, the project has just received a pilot order. The order is a promising first step but by no means a finalized deal for the streamer. As it stands, execs will wait and see how the pilot develops before greenlighting a full series order (via Deadline).

When is the release date of Ke Nui Road?

The pilot of "Ke Nui Road" has not set a release date as of late 2021. If the show is picked up, that could mean the episode would be added to an extended first season or completely shelved in favor of another episode. It's also possible that there could be another pilot order with different storylines, characters, etc. That's one of the most drastic scenarios and would push back any possible first season by a year or more. Of course, the show could also be scrapped entirely before airing.

HBO Max premieres original series and movies throughout the year. 2021 has been an especially interesting one as the service debuted theatrical releases alongside previously set titles. Numerous projects are currently in the development stages, so the "Ke Nui Road" pilot order is a major step for its creative team. Outside of the series, the streamer has several major projects coming in 2022, from the "Peacemaker" spin-off to the "Game of Thrones" prequel "House of the Dragon" (via Variety).

Who is in the cast of Ke Nui Road?

The cast of "Ke Nui Road" includes familiar faces as well as new talents. New Zealand actor Robbie Magasiva heads up the cast, with Andrew Creer and Tessa de Josselin co-starring. They're joined by an extensive supporting cast that includes Kekoa Scott Kekumano, Koa Tom, Rachel Ogechi Kanu, Z'aree Pu'ukani Loganbill, Ethan Rich, and George Mason (via Deadline).

Magasiva stars as Sonny, a Native Hawaiian lifeguard captain and surfer. De Josselin and Creer are also portraying lifeguards Jenn and Will, respectively. The supporting cast includes both newcomers to the Hawaiian beaches as well as native locals. Tom, Kekumano, Loganbill star as Native Hawaiians Kainalu, Laka, and Mahina, respectively, while Kanu portrays Ruby, a recent arrival to the area. Rich's character Kade is a young surfer wrestling with his family's surfing legacy. Lastly, Mason plays team manager Paul, who is trying to guide his young team of surfers.

What is the plot of Ke Nui Road?

"Ke Nui Road" will explore the dramatic and sometimes surprising lives of those who call the North Shore of Hawaii home. This Oahu destination is a tourism spot that welcomes casual beachcombers as much as water sports enthusiasts, while also being home to Native Hawaiians. Lifeguards who know the area are tasked with keeping them safe while ushering in a new generation of potential lifeguards. Mentoring introduces both the lifeguards and their protégés to unexpected challenges as well as rewards (via Bleeding Cool).

Surfing is important to this drama's DNA. That means those seeking fame, fortune, and the big wave are all too eager to find their way to these alluring waters. The show represents those surfers, the people who guide their lives, and the ambitions that are playing into their decision to enter potentially rough waters. Meanwhile, those responsible for shepherding their goals could have ulterior motives. It's a pursuit that turns out to be more complicated and challenging than anything the ocean could hold.