Initially announced back in October, though we missed it, Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger are teaming up to produce a yet-untitled 1970s rock 'n' roll drama series for HBO.
Terence Winter ( Boardwalk Empire) has penned a script that THR says HBO is "very hot on," which Jagger originally conceived as a feature film project, not a cable TV series.
This morning, we have an official synopsis of the upcoming new series (though it's not terribly different from what was revealed previously); and I can also tell you that there are a few roles (series regulars, recurring and guest starring) in it for black actors. When you read the storyline, you'll understand partly why that is.
First, the official synopsis, which follows:
It's circa 1977 in an economically ravaged New York City. Richie Finestra is the cocaine-fueled head of A&R at American Century Music. A time when the disco music of Studio 54 competed with the punk rock of CBGB's and a new form of music called "hip hop" was on the horizon.
Regarding casting of black actors… what I know currently is that they're looking for an actor to play a young (19 year old) GrandMaster Flash, though that won't be a series regular role.
Of the series regulars, a search is underway for a character named "Lester" (aka "Little Jimmy Little"), a mid-40s black man, and former singer, who is now a limo driver – I'm guessing Richie Finestra's.
Of the recurring parts, there's a character named "Top Cat," 30-year-old black man who dresses in "pimp regalia" and works the door at a club in the South Bronx; and finally "Cece" – the 22-year-old "gorgeous assistant" to Richie Finestra, described as "smart and no-nonsense."
Other than the 4 I just mentioned, there isn't a lot else of significance for black actors; although that could certainly change, because this is just in preparation for the pilot episode. If reactions to the pilot are strong, and HBO orders a full season of the series, there could be more black faces added over time – especially given the contents of synopsis: Late 70s, New York City, disco Rock & Roll, hip-hop…! Need I say more… this baby should feature a sea of browness.
Though ya never know; Hollywood's historical revisionist ways certainly isn't anything new.
I'll be paying attention to this as it develops.