'Breaking Bad' Actor Headed to Big Screen With Slavery Project Deadline
One of the stars of the acclaimed drama series "Breaking Bad" has lined up a project that he will direct for the big screen. Deadline.com reports that Giancarlo Esposito, who received an Emmy nomination for his performance as Gus Fring on the AMC series, is working on the slavery-themed historical drama "Patriotic Treason."
Ed Harris, who has four Oscar nominations under his belt -- including "Pollock" and "The Truman Show" -- is set to star as abolitionist John Brown.
"Adapted by Oscar nominee Jose Rivera ('Motorcycle Diaries,' 'On The Road) from Evan Carton’s 2006 book 'Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America,' the film centers on the controversial figure known for his 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry," the story reports. "Brown hoped the attack would ignite a slave uprising. Instead it left 11 dead and led to Brown’s capture, after which he was found guilty of treason and hanged. Political enemies considered Brown a madman and a terrorist, but the notoriety of his violent attacks [is] credited with sparking the Civil War."
Esposito, who is set to play freed slave and orator Frederick Douglass in the project, said: “John Brown was the lightning rod of his place and time, but, to me, his story is just as electric in our world today, where controversies about race, religion, patriotism, and the use of violence for democratic ends are as intense as they were then.”
The report adds: "Spectrum Films’ Keith Sweitzer studied the life of John Brown at the University of Texas under professor Carton, and helped develop the 'Patriotic Treason' book deal. He and Esposito will produce with Act 4′s Jesse Singer & David Johnson, who are eyeing an early summer shoot."
Esposito made his directorial debut with the 2008 film "Gospel Hill," the piece notes.