×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ethan Hawke, Jason Blum Adapting ‘The Good Lord Bird’ for TV (EXCLUSIVE)

Blumhouse Television is developing a limited series based on James McBride’s 2013 National Book Award-winning novel “The Good Lord Bird,” Variety has learned.

Ethan Hawke is on board to star as abolitionist leader John Brown, and will co-write the script with Mark Richard (“Fear of the Walking Dead”).

The project will reunite producer Jason Blum with Hawke, the star of “The Purge,” the hit 2013 horror film. It comes as Blumhouse is making a broader push into the television world. The company is best-known for backing low-budget scary movies, but it’s doing something different on the small screen. It is making several prestige dramas with healthy budgets. It’s a group that includes such high-brow literary-based series as HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” and Showtime’s forthcoming version of Gabriel Sherman’s “The Loudest Voice in the Room.”

Hawke’s involvement shouldn’t be a complete surprise. Not only is he a close friend of Blum’s, but he also told The Week that “The Good Lord Bird” is one of his six favorite books.

“The Good Lord Bird” follows a young slave who joins up with Brown, disguises himself as a girl to avoid being recognized, and eventually participates in the famous 1859 raid on the army depot at Harpers Ferry. That effort was intended by Brown to initiate a slave revolt. It failed in that aim, but it is widely believed to have helped to ignite the Civil War.

McBride is an acclaimed author and journalist whose work includes the best-selling memoir “The Color of Water” and “Miracle at St. Anna,” which Spike Lee adapted into a 2008 film of the same name.

Hawke will executive produce the limited series. McBride, Brian Taylor, Ryan Hawke, and David Schiff will also executive produce.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Courtney Kemp Agboh'Power' TV show final

    'Power' Creator Courtney A. Kemp On Why Starz Series Hasn't Gotten Awards Recognition

    “Power” is a top ratings performer for Starz and has a hugely committed fanbase, but the series has lacked in its awards recognition. Other than honors from the NAACP Image Awards, “Power” has not received any awards or nominations from the Emmys, Golden Globes or SAG — something that star and executive producer Curtis “50 [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Breaking Bad

    'Breaking Bad' Movie Release Date, Title and Plot Revealed

    The “Breaking Bad” movie is coming to Netflix sooner than you might think. The film, titled “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” is now set to be released on Netflix on Oct. 11, according to a report from the New York Times, with Aaron Paul returning as the series’ popular meth cook Jesse Pinkman. Jesse [...]

  • Laurence FishburneNational Memorial Day Concert Dress

    Laurence Fishburne to Produce 'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' Series for Disney Channel

    Laurence Fishburne is stepping into the animation game. The “Matrix” star is set to executive produce “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” an animated series which has been given the greenlight at Disney Channel. Based on Marvel’s comic book series, the show hails from from Disney Television Animation and follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • 'The Simpsons' Producers on Disney, Spinoffs

    'The Simpsons' Producers Talk Potential Disney Spinoffs, Confirm Apu Will Remain

    “The Simpsons” has never shied away from lampooning Disney over the years, but maybe that’s no longer the case. Homer, Marge and co. are of course now part of the Disney family and made their first appearance at the Mouse House’s D23 Expo convention, where the show’s producers were asked plenty of questions about what [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content