Described as an epic nine-episode adventure series based on Esi Edugyan’s novel of the same name, “Washington Black” follows the extraordinary 19th-century adventures of George Washington “Wash” Black, an 11-year-old boy on a Barbados sugar plantation who must flee after a shocking death threatens to upend his life. Brown will play the gregarious, larger-than-life Medwin Harris, who traveled the world after a traumatic childhood as a Black refugee in Nova Scotia as the de facto Mayor of Black Halifax prioritizes the community over everything except Washington Black, his young protégé. Meeting Wash sends him down a challenging path of self-discovery. And as the barricades around his heart start to fall, Medwin will learn to dream again.
Ellis most recently starred as the devil himself Lucifer Morningstar on Netflix’s (and formerly Fox’s) drama “Lucifer.” His character Titch is an eccentric, passionate steam-punk inventor whose youthful enthusiasm masks an inner vulnerability. A disturbing death at his family’s sugar plantation catapults Titch on a remarkable journey across the sky with young George Washington Black at his side. Titch finds himself thrust into the position of mentor and father figure to Wash — a role he is ill-prepared for because Titch is chasing the shadow of his own father, an inevitable reckoning that threatens to doom him and Wash both.
Per Hulu and Studio 20th Television, “Washington Black” is the tale of a singular young man: pirate ship-stowaway-turned-initiate; rugged explorer of uncharted territory; survivor of the tundra, the desert and the high seas; an engineer; an inventor; an artist. He traverses the globe — from searing Barbados heat to Arctic ice — and finds an unexpected and fraught love along the way. Though he meets many an enigmatic figure in his travels, Wash quickly finds that he alone is the engine of his hero’s journey — a triumphant voyage of daring dreams, steampunk and the magic of the human heart.
Ellis joins a previously announced cast that includes Ernest Kingsley Jr. as Washington Black, Eddie Karanja as Young Washington Black, Iola Evans as Tanna Goff, Edward Bluemel as William “Billy” McGee, Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Miss Angie, and Brown as Medwin Harris.
“Washington Black” is being adapted by showrunner Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, who executive produces alongside Brown under his Indian Meadows Productions banner, series writer Jennifer Johnson, and The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, Lindsay Williams and DJ Goldberg. Wanuri Kahiu and Mo Marable are directors and also executive producers, along with Anthony Hemingway. Esi Edugyan is co-producer.