Ethan Hawke stars in The Good Lord Bird, a Showtime project filming in Richmond, Va., that’s due out early next year
Old Dominion gets screen time with The Good Lord Bird, a film fest and more.
Virginia is no stranger to lights, camera and action. It has an annual film fest that turns 32 this month. And it’s become a backdrop in many works with a historic setting. The Good Lord Bird, which is finishing production next month in the Richmond area, is the latest screen star.
The eight-part Showtime series features Ethan Hawke—also the co-producer and co-writer—as John Brown in a story that promises to reveal another chapter in the days leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War. It’s produced by Blumhouse Television and is based on James McBride’s 2013 tome.
The project follows in the footsteps of former flicks staged in Old Dominion, like 2011’s Lincoln; the epic from Steven Spielberg launched programs such as Turn, AMC’s series on George Washington’s spies. Harriet, a Focus Features movie about the efforts of Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) and her attempts in helping slaves escape via the underground railroad, wrapped last year and was filmed almost entirely in the state with other talents such as Janelle Monáe and DC’s Deborah Ayorinde. It is slated for a November release.
The latest production recounts abolitionist Brown’s raid on an arsenal in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., and his friendship with a young African American slave. Part fact and fiction, it’s told through the eyes of Henry Shackleford, the young lad befriended by Brown (named Onion in the novel), and follows their quest to arm slaves with guns.
While that won’t premiere till February, voyeurs can keep busy with the Virginia Film Festival, which takes place Oct. 23 to 27 in Charlottesville. The program has drawn guests such as Sandra Bullock and Christoph Waltz, and is a project of the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts at the University of Virginia. Events are staged at a variety of venues, with the Paramount and Violet Crown theaters serving as main screening spots. Opening night also features a gala at The Jefferson Theater. Showtime! Screenings $11-$15, gala $75, late- night wrap party $45