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Rapper/actor Common’s overall deal with Lionsgate TV is bearing more fruit in the form of an adaptation of a recently discovered Zora Neale Hurston book.
The studio and Common’s Freedom Road Productions have acquired rights to Barracoon, a posthumous, previously unpublished work by Hurston, the renowned anthropologist and author of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Barracoon will be developed as a limited series.
The nonfiction book tells the story of Cudjo Lewis (born Oluale Kossola), the last known survivor of the Middle Passage who was brought to the United States in 1860, half a century after the transatlantic slave trade was officially outlawed.
Hurston interviewed Lewis in 1927 about his time as a slave and the complexities of Reconstruction and freedom after the Civil War ended. The manuscript had been housed at Howard University for more than 50 years before it was published in May.
Barracoon is the second project to come out of Common’s overall deal with Lionsgate. He’s also set to star in and produce an adaptation of B.P. Reiter’s book The Saturday Night Knife & Gun Club.
Common had a relationship with Lionsgate prior to signing his overall deal in August, having starred in the studio’s John Wick and Now You See Me movie franchises. He also appeared in Hunter Killer, from Lionsgate’s indie label Summit Entertainment.
He is repped by UTA, Dudley and attorney David Fox.
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