Paul Giamatti Bringing John Brown Series to FX
In an intriguing bit of television moving and shaking, Deadline is reporting that Paul Giamatti is in the early stages of developing a limited series about the famous (or for some, infamous) abolitionist John Brown.
Currently labeled The Untitled John Brown Project, the miniseries would aim to explore the unlikely life of John Brown, a farmer born in Connecticut and raised in Northern abolitionist states. Brown would go on to become a violent activist in the Kansas Territory, where he fought to make it a free state and is believed to have murdered five pro-slavery settlers during the “Bleeding Kansas” period. And of course, he is most remembered for having led a raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
Though Brown himself was defeated in his failed uprising by U.S. Marines commanded by one Col. Robert E. Lee, it is acknowledged that his raid was an emotional touchstone in Southern states, the first of which would attempt secession a year later, following the 1860 Presidential Election.
The limited series is poised to be adapted from Tony Horwitz’s 2011 book, Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War.
The project would hardly be Giamatti’s first foray into dramatized American History television. The actor earned himself an Emmy and Golden Globe for the acclaimed HBO miniseries John Adams, which chronicled the life of the Bostonian revolutionary who would become the second President of the United States. Giamatti is also developing at FX a miniseries about the Puritanical Pilgrims, titled The Mayflower.