The Good Lord Bird TV Series Overview (2020)


Introduction

The Good Lord Bird is a 2020 American historical drama miniseries, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by James McBride.

Ethan Hawke stars as abolitionist John Brown in this series based on the novel. “Onion” is a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown’s family of abolitionist soldiers and finds himself in the 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry.

Outline

The series is told from the point of view of Henry Shackleford (Joshua Caleb Johnson), a fictional enslaved boy, who is part of John Brown’s (Ethan Hawke) motley crew of abolitionist soldiers during the time of Bleeding Kansas, eventually participating in the famous 1859 raid on the [US] Army depot at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but was the instigating event that started the American Civil War. (Blumhouse Television, 2020).

Cast

  • Main:
    • Ethan Hawke as John Brown.
    • Hubert Point-Du Jour as Bob.
    • Beau Knapp as Owen Brown.
    • Nick Eversman as John Brown Jr.
    • Ellar Coltrane as Salmon Brown.
    • Jack Alcott as Jason Brown.
    • Mo Brings Plenty as Ottawa Jones.
    • Daveed Diggs as Frederick Douglass.
    • Joshua Caleb Johnson as Henry “Onion” Shackleford.
  • Recurring:
    • Wyatt Russell as First Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart.
    • Rafael Casal as John Cook.
    • McKinley Belcher III as Broadnax.
    • Steve Zahn as Chase.
    • Victor Williams as Coachman Jim.
    • Quentin Plair as Emperor.
    • Miles Mussenden as Dangerfield Newby.
    • Ali Amin Carter as Lewis Leary.
    • Orlando Jones as The Rail Man.
    • Brooks Ashmanskas as Lewis Washington.
  • Guest:
    • Zainab Jah as Harriet Tubman.
    • Maya Hawke as Annie Brown.
    • David Morse as Dutch Henry Sherman.
    • Alex Sharp as Preacher.
    • Killer Mike as Clarence.
    • Keith David as Herbert.

Production

Development

Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum adapted the 2013 novel, The Good Lord Bird, for a limited series that premiered on 04 October 2020 on Showtime. The series was created and executive produced by Hawke and Mark Richard. Jason Blum, via Blumhouse Television, served as a production partner on the miniseries. Albert Hughes, Kevin Hooks, Darnell Martin, and Haifaa al-Mansour each directed an episode.

Casting

In August 2019, Daveed Diggs and Wyatt Russell signed on to portray Frederick Douglass and First Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart, respectively. In July 2019, Joshua Caleb Johnson and Rafael Casal joined the cast as Henry “Onion” Shackleford and John Cook, respectively.

Filming

In July 2019, filming began in Richmond, Virginia.

Release

Reception

In response to John Lahr’s profile of Ethan Hawke, The New Yorker published a letter to the editor, written by Marty Brown, a descendant of John Brown. In the letter, Marty Brown welcomes the effort to bring John Brown’s story to a wider audience but notes that his characterisation in the series does not reflect the work of Brown’s historians and biographers.

Trivia

  • As the Union Soldiers marched into battle, they sang “The John Brown Song,” later known as “John Brown’s Body,” whose tune years later with the words changed became “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
  • Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke, creator of the show, plays Annie Brown, one of the daughters of John Brown.
  • Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke previously appeared together in Boyhood (2014) as father and son.

The Good Lord Bird Series

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Kevin Hooks … (2 episodes, 2020).
    • Haifaa Al-Mansour … (1 episode, 2020).
    • Albert Hughes … (1 episode, 2020).
    • Darnell Martin … (1 episode, 2020).
    • Michael Nankin … (1 episode, 2020).
    • Kate Woods … (1 episode, 2020).
  • Producer(s):
    • Shea Kammer … co-executive producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • James McBride … executive producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Padraic McKinley … executive producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Adan Orozco … associate producer / producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Marshall Persinger … executive producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • O’Shea Read … producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • David L. Schiff … executive producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Brian Taylor … executive producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Jerry Torgerson … title sequence producer (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Albert Hughes … producer (1 episode, 2020).
    • Jason Blum … executive producer (unknown episodes).
    • Ethan Hawke … executive producer (unknown episodes).
    • Ryan Hawke … executive producer (unknown episodes).
  • Writer(s):
    • Ethan Hawke … (created for television by) (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Ethan Hawke … (written for television by) (7 episodes, 2020).
    • James McBride … (based on the novel by) (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Mark Richard … (created for television by) (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Mark Richard … (written for television by) (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Kristen SaBerre … (executive story editor) (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Kristen SaBerre … (written for television by) (7 episodes, 2020).
    • Erika L. Johnson … (written for television by) (3 episodes, 2020).
    • Jeff Augustin … (written for television by) (1 episode, 2020).
    • Lauren Signorino … (written for television by) (1 episode, 2020).
  • Music:
    • Jamison Hollister … (7 episodes, 2020).
  • Cinematography:
    • Peter Deming … (7 episodes, 2020).
  • Editor(s):
    • Matthew Woolley … (6 episodes, 2020).
    • Christopher Nelson … (3 episodes, 2020).
    • Sue Blainey … (2 episodes, 2020).
    • Trevor Penna … (1 episode, 2020).
    • Agustin Rexach … (1 episode, 2020).
    • Ron Rosen … (1 episode, 2020).
  • Production:
    • Under The Influence.
    • Mark 924 Entertainment.
    • Blumhouse Television.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Showtime Networks (2020) (US) (TV).
  • Release Date: 04 October 2020 to 15 November 2020.
  • Running Time: 46-57 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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