Jaden Smith To Play Slave In Film Adaptation Of ‘The Good Lord Bird’
Jaden Smith will star alongside Liev Schreiber in the film adaptation of The Good Lord Bird. The book is based on a novel of the same name by James McBride (Red Hook Summer). The announcement marks what is easily Jaden Smith’s most dramatic role to date. The story focuses on a slave named Henry “Onion” Shackleford (Jaden Smith) and White abolitionist John Brown (Liev Schreiber) who travel together with like minded men on a quest to end slavery (Deadline). Shackleford disguises himself in female dress to avoid conflict. The pair meet historical figures including Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas before leading a raid on Harpers Ferry. John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry is a real historical even in which a group of abolitionist and slaves attempted to kick-start a slave revolt.
The novel won the National Book Award for fiction in 2013. Typically award winning books aren’t the type that Hollywood banks on. Young adult fantasy and romance genres are clearly where the money is being made. However, when it comes to awards and acclaim, award winning books, particularly those that pertain to issues of race (i.e. The Help), can boost a studio’s success. Buy The Good Lord Bird on Amazon.