EXCLUSIVE: Timothy Ballard’s book Slave Stealers: True Accounts Of Slave Rescues Then & Now is set for TV adaptation with 6 Underground actor and consultant and former Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke penning the script with Cody Newton Gifford.
Emmy-winning Nick Nanton is producing alongside Brian Norton and Ballard through their StoweAway Productions, with Adeleke’s 8th Wonder Entertainment. Ballard’s Operation Underground Railroad, the non-profit set up to combat human trafficking, is also involved.
The book follows two real life abolitionists who fought one of the most shockingly persistent evils of the world: human trafficking and sexual exploitation of slaves. The show’s first season will tell the story of Harriet Jacobs who serves as the book’s centerpiece. Born into slavery in the early 1800s, Jacobs fought her way to freedom and became an abolitionist and the first known female slave to document the sexual harassment and abuse she faced while enslaved. The initial series is tentatively titled Edenton, after the town where Jacobs was held as a slave.
Adeleke is a descendant of Edenton slaves. After serving as Navy SEAL, he transitioned into a career in the entertainment industry, working as a creative consultant and actor on Transformers: The Last Knight, Ray James for Apple TV+ and the action blockbuster 6 Underground for Netflix. He is also the published author of Transformed, which chronicles his journey from Africa to the Bronx. Newton is a Black List Screenwriting Lab fellow who has work in development with HBO Films, Warner Bros. Television and MGM.
Both Adeleke and Newton are repped by APA’s David Saunders and Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Tim Ballard is repped by WME.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.