The upcoming SHOWTIME® limited series The Good Lord Bird will film in Virginia this summer. This series will be produced by Blumhouse Television, is based on the National Book Award-winning novel, by the same name, from bestselling author James McBride.
Production of the eight-part limited series will begin in Central Virginia this summer. The Good Lord Bird marks another major project filming in Virginia in 2019, following an announcement regarding AMC’s popular The Walking Dead franchise.
Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Tony® nominee Ethan Hawke will star as 19th-century abolitionist John Brown and is co-writing and executive producing, along with McBride; award-winning author, producer and Virginia native Mark Richard (The Ice at the Bottom of the World and Hell on Wheels); Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents), who will also direct multiple episodes; Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold, for Blumhouse Television (Sharp Objects, The Loudest Voice, The Purge); Brian Taylor; Ryan Hawke (First Reformed); David Schiff (Southpaw); and Marshall Persinger (Rectify).
The Good Lord Bird is told from the point of view of Onion, an enslaved teenager who joins Brown during the time of Bleeding Kansas, eventually participating in the famous 1859 raid on the Army depot at Harpers Ferry. Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but is often cited as the instigating event that started the Civil War.
The Good Lord Bird will be eligible to receive a Virginia film tax credit or grant. The exact amount will be based on the number of Virginia workers hired, Virginia goods and services purchased, and deliverables including Virginia tourism promotions.
The Virginia Film Office is part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the state agency charged with marketing the state of Virginia. Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2017, visitors spent $25 billion, supporting 232,000 jobs and contributing $1.73 billion in state and local taxes.