Daveed Diggs will star as Frederick Douglass in Showtime’s upcoming limited series, The Good Lord Bird.

The series is toplined with Ethan Hawke (as abolitionist John Brown) and newcomer Joshua Johnson-Lionel. Wyatt Russell has also joined the cast, while David Morse, Steve Zahn, Orlando Jones and Ellar Coltrane have been tapped as guest stars. 

The limited series is from Blumhouse Television and is based on the National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. The eight-part limited event series will premiere on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 10 p.m

The network’s description says, “Diggs will play Frederick Douglass, the well-known orator and leader of the abolitionist movement and Union Civil War effort. Douglass works with Brown and encourages the raid on Harpers Ferry, but finds Brown’s planning and leadership style questionable and his approach dangerous, bordering on suicidal.”

The series is told from the point of view of Onion (Johnson-Lionel), “a fictional enslaved boy, who is part of Brown’s motley crew of abolitionist soldiers 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.

Mark Richard is the showrunner and executive produces with Ethan Hawke, who together, wrote the first episode of the series.  Albert Hughes, in his television directorial debut, helmed multiple episodes of the series.  




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