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Ethan Hawke to star in limited-series Good Lord Bird for Showtime

Ethan Hawke, Good Lord Bird, Showtime, First Reformed

Ethan Hawke doesn't have many television credits to his name, but that will soon change as the actor is set to take on the leading role in Showtime's upcoming adaptation of James McBride's award-winning novel "The Good Lord Bird." The series deals with a young slave named Henry Shackleford and his relationship with abolitionist John Brown. Told from Shackleford's point of view, Good Lord Bird will tell the story of how he became a part of Brown's family and eventually takes part in the raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, which helped to precipitate the Civil War.

In addition to starring as John Brown, Ethan Hawke will also serve as executive producer and co-write the eight-episode series alongside Mark Richard (Hell on Wheels). Anthony Hemingway (The People v. O.J. Simpson) will direct the series. "Good Lord Bird is one of my favorite books, told with wit, grace and wisdom by the great James McBride," said Hawke. "Bringing this story to the screen has been a passion project of mine and I am incredibly fortunate to have partners who are equally enthusiastic and are making it a reality — my wife and producing partner Ryan Hawke, and my longtime friends at Blumhouse. I'm looking forward to working for the first time with the talented folks at Showtime and Anthony Hemingway — both of whom have made some of the best television in the last couple years." In a further statement, "The Good Lord Bird" author James McBride added, "This is just the right time for The Good Lord Bird. I wrote it to show we Americans are family — dysfunctional, screwy, funny, even dangerous to one another at times, but still family nonetheless. Old John Brown always had a knack for landing into the right place at the right time. I'm delighted he's landed in the lap of one of America's most gifted and literate actors. Ethan Hawke is special, and I'm thankful that Showtime and Blumhouse have shown faith and trust in one of America's oddest, most profound and greatest heroes."

A synopsis for "The Good Lord Bird" via Amazon:

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.

Ethan Hawke can currently be seen in Vincent D'Onofrio's THE KID, which tells the story of a brother attempting to save his sister from his murderous uncle who encounters Sheriff Pat Garrett (Hawke) and the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan) along the way. You can check out a review of the film from our own Chris Bumbray right here.

Source: THR

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