In his first major foray into television, filmmaker Albert Hughes (Alpha, Menace II Society) has signed on to executive produce and direct multiple episodes of Showtime limited series The Good Lord Bird, starring Ethan Hawke.
The Good Lord Bird, based on James McBride’s 2013 novel, is told from the point of view of Onion, an enslaved teenager who becomes a member in Brown’s motley family during the time of Bleeding Kansas, eventually participating in the famous 1859 raid on the Army depot at Harpers Ferry. Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but was the instigating event that started the Civil War.
Hawke stars as 19th-century abolitionist John Brown and is co-writing and executive producing with Mark Richard (The Ice at the Bottom of the World, Hell on Wheels).
“Albert Hughes is an incredible addition to The Good Lord Bird,” said Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. “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. Last summer, Hughes directed his first solo feature, Alpha. He’s repped by CAA and Bloom Hergott.
The Good Lord Bird is executive produced by Ethan Hawke, James McBride, Mark Richard, Albert Hughes, Jason Blum, Brian Taylor, Ryan Hawke, David Schiff, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman and Marshall Persinger.