Daveed Diggs, Wyatt Russell Set for Showtime Slavery Drama 'Good Lord Bird'

Daveed Diggs and Wyatt Russell have signed on to the limited series that also stars Ethan Hawke and Joshua Johnson-Lionel.
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Daveed Diggs (left) and Wyatt Russell

Daveed Diggs and Wyatt Russell have come aboard Showtime's limited series Good Lord Bird, joining Ethan Hawke and Joshua Johnson-Lionel in the drama set in pre-Civil War America.

Good Lord Bird is based on James McBride's National Book Award-winning novel of the same title. It centers on the relationship between abolitionist John Brown (Hawke) and a young slave nicknamed Onion (Johnson-Lionel), who joins Brown's motley family and eventually takes part in the 1859 raid on an army depot in Harper's Ferry, Virginia. Brown hoped the raid would lead to a slave uprising, but instead it became one of the key events leading to the Civil War.

Diggs (Hamilton, TBS' upcoming Snowpiercer series) will play Frederick Douglass, the slave-turned-abolitionist leader who knew Brown but advised against the Harper's Ferry raid.

Lodge 49 star Russell will recur as Brown's nemesis Jeb Stuart, a U.S. Army officer (and later Confederate general) who helped repel the Harper's Ferry raid.

Hawke is also co-writing the eight-episode series with Mark Richard (Hell on Wheels, Fear the Walking Dead). Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli, Menace II Society) will direct; he replaces Anthony Hemingway, who had to depart due to scheduling issues.

Good Lord Bird comes from Blumhouse Television. Hawke, Richard, Hughes, McBride, Jason Blum, Brian Taylor, Ryan Hawke, David Schiff and Blumhouse's Jeremy Gold and Marci Wiseman are the executive producers.