Forest Whitaker as Bumpy Johnson? Oh, we’re there for this.
Another tale from Harlem is probably more infamous than famous, and that’s the story of Ellsworth Raymond “Bumpy” Johnson. Born in South Carolina, Bumpy was sent to live in Harlem from a young age and, unfortunately, got caught up in the streets for the majority of his life. He’s forever recognized as, arguably, the biggest gangster in Harlem until his death in 1968. He was portrayed in many movies including “Hoodlum” and “American Gangster.” Now EPIX is giving us a new portrayal of Bumpy and his life, this time in a 10 episode series which features the great Forest Whitaker as Bumpy.
The first trailer dropped today and it looks like it’s on in Harlem.
Per the release:
Premiering on EPIX this fall, Godfather of Harlem is inspired by the story of infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned from ten years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Bumpy must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Thatch) – catching Malcolm’s political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart. Godfather of Harlem is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.
Produced by ABC Signature Studios, the 10-episode series is written by Narcos co-creator Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein. The series will launch on EPIX and EPIX NOW, the network’s new streaming service available for download in the App store for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV and in Google Play for Android phones and tablets.
“Godfather of Harlem” also stars Vincent D’Onofrio, Giancarlo Esposito, Paul Sorvino and Ilfenesh Hadera. It drops this fall on Epix.