An unexpected choice; but glad to see the man working.
Vondie Curtis-Hall will replace South African director Darrell Roodt (Winnie) to helm Four Stars International’s Paul Robeson biopic, which British actor David Harewood, was attached to star in.
Sydney Tamiia Poitier (daughter of Sidney Poitier) was also attached to the project, to play Paul Robeson’s wife, Eslanda (“Essie“) Goode Robeson.
I say both actor were attached because, according to a new Variety report, the producers have opted to read other actors for the the lead role specifically – meaning, Harewood may actually no longer be involved.
The project will be produced by Greg Carter and executive produced by Richard Akel, with a script penned by Akel and Terry Bisson, with promises of a film that’s worthy of its subject.
Also of note, Louis Gossett Jr. was attached to portray W.E.B. Du Bois in the independently-produced film. Although no word on whether he’s still involved.
The film will be a traditional biopic, showing Robeson’s rise (along with his wife, who was also his business manager) into his 60s.
The previous goal, as of our last post on this in June, was to shoot the film in August in Toronto and Montreal. Production has now been moved to 2014.
Maybe best known for his work in front of the screen, Vondie Curtis Hall has directed a lot of episodic TV. His feature film directorial credits include Abducted: The Carlina White Story, most recently, for the Lifetime network. For the big screen, he directed Waist Deep, Glitter, Gridlock’d.
Given the long life that Robeson lived, the other historically-significant public figures he knew, interacted and worked with, his on-screen and off-screen accomplishments, his activism that would lead to his black-listing, and so much more, there’s a lot of great history here in this one, single life. And a big screen account of that life is one that’s definitely warranted.
We’re definitely excited to see what develops here.