Watch Ethan Hawke and Daveed Diggs in Showtime's 'Good Lord Bird' Trailer

The limited series based on James McBride's award-winning novel is set to premiere in August.
William Gray/SHOWTIME
'The Good Lord Bird'

Midway through the trailer for Showtime's limited series The Good Lord Bird, Daveed Diggs' Frederick Douglass pauses a speech and motions for Ethan Hawke's John Brown to move away.

"Lunatic," Douglass says of the abolitionist.  

The seven-episode project, based on James McBride's National Book Award-winning novel, centers on a young slave known as Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson) who becomes a member of Brown's motley family of abolitionist soldiers during Bleeding Kansas — a time when the state was a battleground between pro- and anti-slavery forces — and eventually finds himself participating in the famous 1859 raid on the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry. Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but helped lead to the start of the Civil War. 

Mixing humorous and dramatic tones, the series aims to weave a tapestry of antebellum America and the ever-changing racial, religious and gender roles that make up American identity.

The Blumhouse Television effort also stars David Morse, Steve Zahn, Maya Hawke, Wyatt Russell and Orlando Jones. Hawke and Mark Richard (Hell on Wheels, Fear the Walking Dead) adapted McBride's novel and executive produce with the author, Blumhouse's Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold and Marci Wiseman, Ryan Hawke, Padraic McKinley, Albert Hughes, Brian Taylor, Marshall Persinger and David Schiff.

The Good Lord Bird is set to premiere Aug. 9. Watch the trailer below.