Kevin Mazur/WireImage
October 14, 2014 at 10:00 PM EDT

Nearly a year ago, HBO began developing a drama series with 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. Now the network has ordered a pilot of the drama, EW has confirmed. It’ll be called Codes of Conduct and is set to star fresh face Devon Terrell.

The story will explore a young African-American man’s entry into New York society—a man who has a shrouded and ambiguous past. Terrell will play that character, Beverly Snow, and the show will address the boundaries of social mobility.

McQueen wrote the script with World War Z screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan, and will make his television debut directing the pilot.

Meanwhile, Australian-raised Terrell has been at the country’s National Institute of Dramatic Art since 2011. Terrell doesn’t have IMDB credits, but McQueen is already sold on him. “It was no easy task casting the character of Beverly Snow and, with the help of HBO, we left no stone unturned,” the director says. “This was a 10-month process in which we came across many talented actors, but only one Beverly.”

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