Recognizing the full history of a people is integral to the world's understanding of their mindset and in helping spark universal cultural understanding. For the descendants of Africans in America that history is largely limited to slavery and the civil rights movement as far as cinematic and television offerings are concerned. But there is an ever-growing cadre of creative minds who are looking to change that.
Oscar winner Halle Berry is bringing the tale of famed African general and Roman Empire antagonist Hannibal Barca to the small screen in a miniseries to be aired on the History Channel. Berry has signed on as executive producer of the project, which will be written by Jeffrey Caine (Golden Eye).
"Hannibal is not only the greatest African general to ever live," Berry said in a statement. "He may have been the greatest general, period. His story is an intricate and captivating ride and I'm thrilled to get this project off the ground with our partners at History."
The story will begin at the start of Hannibal's life in North Africa and will highlight the impact Rome had on his mentality as a young man, featuring the rivalry and eventual mutual respect gleaned from his battlefield encounters with Roman general Scipio Africanus during the Second Punic War. The continent of Africa is named for the general who eventually brought down Carthage.
And there have been attempts to bring the life of Hannibal Barca to the silver screen in the past with A-list actors Denzel Washington reportedly pegged to play Hannibal's father Hamilcar Barca and Vin Diesel as Hannibal himself. There was even speculation that Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott, would direct. That project, tabbed as a trilogy, has had several working titles, including Hannibal the Conqueror and Hannibal of Carthage. However, that project has been in the wind for years and hasn't come to fruition as of yet.
No word yet on when Halle's "Hannibal" the miniseries is scheduled to air. The Shadow League will keep you posted.