Dustin Hoffman to star in HBO pilot "Luck"

Cast member Dustin Hoffman arrives to a photocall in Paris in this February 26, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - In his first major TV series gig, Dustin Hoffman will star in HBO’s horse-racing drama pilot “Luck.”

The project is described as a provocative look at the worlds of horse-racing and gambling told through a diverse group of characters surrounding a racetrack. It comes from Michael Mann (“Miami Vice”) and David Milch (“NYPD Blue”).

Hoffman will play Ace Bernstein, an intelligent, intuitive and tough man who has always been involved with gambling, from bookmaking and money laundering through casino operations.

Recently released after four years in prison, he teams with Gus Economou (Dennis Farina), his longtime chauffeur and muscle, to craft a complex plan involving the track. They recruit Turo Escalante (John Ortiz), a successful trainer with sordid reputation.

Milch wrote the pilot, which Mann is directing. The pilot is eyeing an early spring production start in Los Angeles.

Landing Hoffman is a major coup for HBO as the “Tootsie” actor has not done TV in more than 40 years. Hoffman, an Oscar winner for “Rain Man” and “Kramer vs. Kramer,” next stars in the latest “Meet the Parents” sequel, “Little Fockers.”