British actor and currently star of Showtime’s hit drama series Homeland, David Harewood, is reportedly in talks to play Paul Robeson in what is said to be an independently-produced biopic on the life of the legendary man behind the voice, the actor, singer, activist, and more, who would’ve been who would’ve been 114 years old this year, were he still alive.
The project comes from Four Stars International, and will be produced by Richard Akel and Greg Carter, with a script penned by Akel and Terry Bisson.
No director is attached yet, but the producers are on the hunt for one, with the goal being to shoot the film next year, with Louis Gossett Jr. also attached to star in the film, although it’s not yet public what his role will be.
You might recall my October post on Michael Jai White’s revelation that he intended to bring the life story of Paul Robeson to the big screen, with him playing the Robeson, of course.
In that post, he lamented the fact that Robeson’s legacy seems to have been forgotten, and suggested that he (Robeson) hasn’t been given the proper recognition he deserves, given what he accomplished, calling him a personal as well as a national hero.
When asked whether he’d be involved in front of, or behind the camera, White insisted that he IS the person to play Robeson, adding that it’s a part that he can definitely do justice to.
He further went on to say that the project was definitely in the works, that he’s attached to it, and it’s a personal quest for him to see that it gets done.
What today’s news means for Jai White’s plans for his own Robeson project, I can’t say; but I assume he’ll continue to pursue it. After all, nothing’s definite in this business, and even though Harewood’s Robeson project has been officially announced, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a done deal.
He still has to accept the role, first of all, given that he’s said to be “in talks.”
So, David Harewood as Paul Robeson… are you digging the possibility?
I can already hear calls for the producers to approach Spike Lee to direct; I wouldn’t hold my breath on that, but it’s not entirely impossible.