American Gangster prequel series in the works starring Forest Whitaker

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Forest Whitaker American Gangster The Godfather of Harlem

I doubt that many would count AMERICAN GANGSTER as a top-tier Ridley Scott film, but it certainly isn't a bad piece of work, however, with a cast comprised of Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ted Levine, Carla Gugino, Idris Elba, and John Hawkes, among others, it really should have been so much better. It's been ten years since the release of AMERICAN GANGSTER, but we may be due for a return to 1960's Harlem in the form of a prequel series centered around mob boss Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson , who will be played by Forest Whitaker.

Narcos co-creator Chris Brancato spoke with ScreenDaily about the series, called The Godfather of Harlem, which will be set five years before the events of AMERICAN GANGSTER. "It's Harlem, the 1960s, a gangster named Bumpy Johnson was very close friends with Malcom X, so the show is about the collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement," Brancato said. "It’s an opportunity to examine some of the things that are going on racially right now, but through the prism of the past." The script has been written and Chris Brancato has been speaking with Kendrick Lamar about providing the music for the potential series. Once the project enters the market, it's expected that it will land at Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. In the Ridley Scott film, the role of Bumpy was played by Clarence Williams III (The Mod Squad).

Forest Whitaker will next be seen in BLACK PANTHER on February 16, 2018, in which he plays Zuri, an elder stateman in Wakanda.

Source: ScreenDaily

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.