Showtime has released the official poster and trailer for its new limited series The Good Lord Bird, premiering on Sunday, August 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series is executive produced by Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke, who plays the controversial abolitionist John Brown.
The seven-episode series comes from Blumhouse Television and isbased on the National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird (buy at Amazon) by bestselling author James McBride.
The Good Lord Bird is told from the point of view of Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson), a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown’s motley family of abolitionist soldiers during Bleeding Kansas – a time when the state was a battleground between pro- and anti-slavery forces – and eventually finds himself participating in the famous 1859 raid on the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry.
Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but was the event that started the Civil War. The Good Lord Bird weaves a humorous, dramatic and historical tapestry of Antebellum America, spotlighting the complicated and ever-changing racial, religious and gender roles that make up the American identity.
The series also stars Critics’ Choice winner and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), Hubert Point-Du Jour (Madam Secretary), Beau Knapp (Seven Seconds), Nick Eversman (Wild), Jack Alcott (Champaign ILL), and Mo Brings Plenty (Yellowstone).
Also appearing is a roster of talented guest stars, including Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) as abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Emmy nominee David Morse (Escape at Dannemora) as Dutch Henry Sherman, Steve Zahn (War of the Planet of the Apes) as Chase, Maya Hawke (Stranger Things) as Annie Brown, Wyatt Russell (Lodge 49) as federal officer Jeb Stuart, and Orlando Jones (American Gods) as The Rail Man.
The limited series is executive produced by Jason Blum, Ethan Hawke, Ryan Hawke, Mark Richard, Padraic McKinley, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman, Albert Hughes, James McBride, Brian Taylor, Marshall Persinger, and David Schiff.
When Albert Hughes was announced as director, Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc., said: “Albert Hughes is an incredible addition to The Good Lord Bird. We are so pleased to meld Albert’s intelligence, talent and perspective with the remarkable creative team that is adapting James McBride’s wildly imaginative and profound novel into a singular Showtime limited series.”
Writer-director Hughes and his brother Allen emerged as major talents with their 1993 debut Menace II Society and 1995 follow-up Dead Presidents. They later directed the 1999 documentary American Pimp; 2001’s adaptation of Alan Moore’s Jack the Ripper graphic novel From Hell, starring Johnny Depp; and 2010’s post-apocalyptic Denzel Washington starrer The Book of Eli. In 2018, Hughes directed his first solo feature, Alpha.