article by Nellie Andreeva and Erik Pedersen via deadline.com
BET has set the cast for Rebel, its two-hour police-drama pilot from filmmaker John Singleton. Stage actress Danielle Moné Truitt is set as the lead, Oakland cop Rebecca “Rebel” Knight, and Breaking Bad alum Giancarlo Esposito will play her lieutenant, who’s a friend and mentor. Mykelti Williamson, Cliff “Method Man” Smith and Brandon Quinn co-star.
The show examines the unique and conflicted relationship officers of color have with their jobs at a time when police forces are rife with brutality and misconduct. Officer Cole has excelled by playing by the rules but always has known that she must be better and smarter on the job because she is both black and female. After her brother is killed by police, Rebel soon becomes disillusioned with the system and is forced to take matters into her own hands and become a private investigator and a champion for her community. Caught between family loyalty and the fraternity in blue, Rebel’s actions set in motion a cause-and-effect crisis that can’t be undone.
Williamson will play Rebel’s father Rene Knight, a strong but broken man. Although he loves his daughter dearly, he blames her for the death of her brother, Malik. Smith is TJ, Rebel’s ex-husband. They share a history in the military that bonds them for life. Although he’s moved on, there is still a lot of passion between them, and he can’t seem to stay away. Quinn will portray Rebel’s partner Thompson “Mack” McIntyre, whose decision to shoot at Rebel’s brother places him squarely between her career and her family.
Rebel is produced by MarVista Entertainment for BET and co-written, executive produced and directed by Singleton. Dallas Jackson also is an Executive Producer. Production on the two-hour pilot began this week in Los Angeles.
Giancarlo Esposito has joined the cast of NYC-set musical drama Stuck, about six strangers trapped on a stalled subway train. Filming is underway with a cast that includes Amy Madigan and singer-actress Ashanti. Esposito will play Lloyd, a mysterious homeless man who might offer more wisdom than expected.
Stuck is adapted from the stage play by Riley Thomas, who co-scripted with director Michael Berry; the helmer is set to release his drama Frontera, also co-starring Madigan alongside Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, and Michael Peña, this month. Esposito starred on the recent NBC series Revolution and was just announced as joining the cast of Disney’s The Jungle Book. He’s also in pre-production on his own project Patriotic Treason which he’ll direct, produce, and co-star opposite Ed Harris in the period retelling of the saga of abolitionist John Brown. Esposito nabbed a Critics Choice Award for his Emmy-nominated turn as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad, and is set to return to ABC’s fantasy series Once Upon A Time as Magic Mirror/Sidney Glass/Genie in the show’s September 28th Season 4 premiere.
Over a year ago, in an exclusive S&A interview with Giancarlo Esposito regarding his work on Revolution, Breaking Bad, his craft and more, the actor revealed to us that he was developing a project on abolitionist John Brown that he would direct, adding that he would like to make it a miniseries for cable TV. Skip ahead to recent news that Esposito has made progress on the project, which is now titled Patriotic Treason, and has attracted the acting talents of Ed Harris to star as Brown.
Based on the book Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America by Evan Carton, the project will not be a miniseries as Esposito originally told us he would prefer, but a feature film, which writer Jose Rivera (Motorcycle Diaries, On The Road) will adapt, with Esposito also co-starring, playing Frederick Douglass. The film will be produced by Spectrum Films, Esposito and Act 4, with a summer 2014 shoot planned.
This is the second John Brown project announced this year. It was in July when it was revealed that another actor, Paul Giamatti, had partnered with FX to develop a mini-series on John Brown, which will trace “the true story of the abolitionist’s transformation from a lowly 50-year old farmer to a notorious anti-slavery freedom fighter in Kansas and his famed 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry.” The project, itself also based on a book, Midnight Rising by Tony Horwitz, and which is expected to be 6 to 8 hours in length, is part of a two-year first-look deal Giamatti and partner Daniel Carey’s Touchy Feely Films are under with FX Productions. Gabriel Range is adapting Horwitz’s book.
According to variety.com, The Hollywood Walk of Fame committee chairman David Green announced next year’s list of honorees today at a ceremony where Jennifer Lopez received her honor, with Tupac Shakur set to be lauded posthumously along with comedian/actor Phil Hartman.
In the film category, those scheduled to receive a star in 2014 are: Orlando Bloom, Ray Dolby, Sally Field, Jack Harris, Jessica Lange, Matthew McConaughey, Liam Neeson, Paul Mazursky and Tom Sherak.
In TV, Giancarlo Esposito will receive a star, along with Dabney Coleman, Kaley Cuoco, Claire Danes, Deidre Hall, Cheryl Hines, Don Mischer, Rickey Smiley and Hartman. Music stars in addition to Shakur include Motown songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland, Katy Perry, and Rick Springfield.
Congratulations to Idris Elba (“Luther”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”), Loretta Devine (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live”) for their 2012 nominations by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences!
Elba was nominated in the Leading Actor in a Made for TV Movie/Miniseries category, Esposito for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Devine for Guest Actress in a Drama Series and Rudolph for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. The Awards show will air live on ABC on Sunday, September 23 at 8 PM, EST.