‘The Big Cigar’: Don Cheadle to Direct Apple TV+ Series About Black Panther Leader Huey P. Newton!!

Today it has been announced that Apple TV+ and Warner Bros. Television are teaming up to create The Big Cigar, a limited series that will tell the true story of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton’s escape to Cuba. Moonlight star André Holland is currently in talks to star.

The Big Cigar will “tells the extraordinary, hilarious, almost-too-good-to-be-true story” of Newton’s escape to Cuba with help from Hollywood producer Bert Schnider, as the FBI leads a nationwide manhunt to catch him. The series is set to be executive produced by Janine Sherman Barrois, an NAACP Image Award-winner who has previously worked on shows like Criminal Minds and The Kings of Napa, and who will also be serving as showrunner. Additionally, Don Cheadle is set to direct and executive produce the first two episodes of the six-episode limited series. Cheadle has previously directed episodes of his series House of Lies.

Holland is in talks to play Newton in the series. This will actually not be Holland’s first turn playing a historical figure in the center of the civil rights movement, as the Moonlight star previously appeared in 2014’s Selma as Andrew Young. Holland’s other roles include American Horror Story, The Knick, and The Eddy.

The series has been written by Jim Hecht based on renowned journalist Joshuah Bearman’s 2013 Playboy article “The Big Cigar: How a Hollywood producer smuggled Huey Newton to Cuba.” Hecht’s previous writing credits include the HBO Max series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, about the Showtime Era of the Los Angeles Lakers. Bearman is a journalist who has written for such publications as Rolling Stone and The New York Times and his 2007 article for Wired served as the basis for the 2013 Academy Award Best Picture winner Argo.

The Big Cigar is being produced in part by Sherman BarroisFolding Chair Production, which has an overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. The series will be executive produced by Sherman Barrois and Hecht with Bearman, Joshua Davis, and Arthur Spector also executive producing by way of their production company Epic.

This limited series is just the latest collaboration between Apple TV+ and Warner Bros. Television. The pair currently work together on the highly acclaimed comedy Ted Lasso. They also recently announced a collaboration that will see Harrison Ford starring in the series Shrinking from Jason Segel and Ted Lasso’s Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein. The series will also be the second collaboration between Bearman’s production company Epic and Apple TV+ as they recently worked together on the BAFTA-nominated comedy-drama Little America from Bearman, Spector, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon, and Lee Eisenberg

Stay tuned to Collider for any future updates on this limited series.

via Collider

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