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Jaden Smith To Star In Slavery Drama ‘The Good Lord Bird’

Jaden Smith To Star In Slavery Drama 'The Good Lord Bird'

So, let’s say you’ve optioned the critically acclaimed, National Book Award-winning novel “The Good Lord Bird” by James McBride. Now you’re on the tough path of development, hoping to find somebody to finance, produce and distribute the slavery-era drama, and you want to put together an attractive package to lure deep pocket investors. And now, let’s pretend you cast Jaden Smith.

Curiously, it’s McBride himself who is producing the film (he’s also the screenwriter of “Miracle At St. Anna” and “Red Hook Summer,” FYI) so we’ll give him the benefit here of seeing something in Smith that we clearly, do not. Liev Schreiber is also on board for this tale of a young slave and an abolitionist who team up and travel the country, trying to survive. Here’s the Amazon synopsis: 

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.

Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.

An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.

So, great material, but also, Jaden Smith. We’ll let you sound off in the comments, but before we go, we’ll leave you with the wisdom of Jaden, in tweet form. [Deadline]

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