New TV Series Adapts John Brown Novel "The Good Lord Bird"


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Pat Young

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From the article:

Ethan Hawke will star in the SHOWTIME® limited series "The Good Lord Bird" to be filmed in Virginia this summer. The show, produced by Blumhouse Television, is based on the novel by bestselling author James McBride.

"Virginia is the perfect production home for The Good Lord Bird," Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold, co-presidents of Blumhouse Television, said. "The state’s visual backdrop lends itself beautifully to what we are looking to bring to the screen, the talent in the state is top notch and of course, Virginia has a historical relevance to this story."

The Good Lord Bird is told from the point of view of Onion, an enslaved teenager who joins 19th-century abolitionist John Brown (Hawke) 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 is often cited as the instigating event that started the Civil War.


Production of the eight-part limited series will begin in Central Virginia this summer...
 

Pat Young

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Films like Lincoln and Twelve Years A Slave have demonstrated the viability of historical dramas set during the Civil War Era. David Blight's new biography of Frederick Douglass has been optioned for a new Netflix film. dJnago Unchained showed that an over the top violent comedy could also achieve popularity.
 

E_just_E

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From the article:
Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but is often cited as the instigating event that started the Civil War.
.
I guess the ones who thought that the SC secession, followed by the rest, the Ft. Sumpter events, and Lincoln's reaction to all of these did it, will get a history lesson from this fictional series...
 

E_just_E

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Other recent efforts like Mercy Street and Free State of Jones did not meet expectations.
They lost $. Not sure about the Mercy Street financials, but the Free State of Jones cost $50 million to produce and grossed about $25 million. It was not a bad movie, but the general movie going public is apparently not really interested in the subject...
 
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They lost $. Not sure about the Mercy Street financials, but the Free State of Jones cost $50 million to produce and grossed about $25 million. It was not a bad movie, but the general movie going public is apparently not really interested in the subject...
The movie going public usually likes movies that have a clear story. I remember Gladiator being considered for the nomination it eventually won because it had the (paraphrasing here) "the best example of the Three Act Structure." In other words, it was received in part because it had a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Swordfighting helped pad the box office take.

IMHO, the Free State of Jones had a bunch of episodes and a subplot set decades after the main story that did not lead to a clean structure. That is why, in part, I do not think it was a good movie. And I wanted to like it and would welcome a remake of the story, as it is one that should be told.

As to the John Brown series: will it portray him as a terrorist, a freedom fighter, something in between, or lay down the facts and let the viewer decide? That could make or break it.
 

E_just_E

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As to the John Brown series: will it portray him as a terrorist, a freedom fighter, something in between, or lay down the facts and let the viewer decide? That could make or break it.
Well, the book is not about Brown. Brown is just one of the characters the protagonist Little Onion meets
 



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