Billy Boyd, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, and Julian Rhind-Tutt will join Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us, Black Panther) in “Washington Black” at Hulu. All three will have recurring roles. The 9 episode limited series is an adaptation of Esi Edugyan’s best-selling epic-adventure novel of the same name.
Previously announced cast also includes Charles Dance, Ernest Kingsley Jr., Iola Evans, Edward Bluemel (Killing Eve, A Discovery Of Witches), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Dune), newcomer Eddie Karanja (After Ever After), Tom Ellis (Lucifer), Rupert Graves (Riviera, Sherlock) and Shaunette Renée Wilson (Indiana Jones 5, The Resident).
“Washington Black” follows the extraordinary 19th-century adventures of George Washington (“Wash”) Black – an 11-year-old boy on a Barbados sugar plantation who must flee after a shocking death threatens to upend his life. Brown will play the gregarious, larger-than-life Medwin Harris, who traveled the world after a traumatic childhood as a Black refugee in Nova Scotia as the de facto Mayor of Black Halifax prioritizes the community over everything except Washington Black, his young protégé. Meeting Wash sends him down a challenging path of self-discovery. And as the barricades around his heart start to fall, Medwin will learn to dream again.
According to Variety:
Boyd will play Willard. Willard is the proverbial Man in Black, the hunter dispatched by Erasmus Wilde to find and capture Washington Black. But Willard is no ordinary hunter. He is the dark shadow in Wash’s life. The spiritual and literal manifestation of a system that views Wash, and his genius, as a threat to be contained by any means. And it is only a matter of time before Wash’s light and Willard’s darkness smash together with heavy consequences for all.
Boyd is best known for his role in the original “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy, in which he played Peregrin “Pippin” Took. He has also starred in films like “Master and Commander: Far Side of the World,” “Stone of Destiny,” “Forger,” and “Walking with Herb.”
Mwine will play Gaius, who is described as a man with a foot in two worlds, that of the oppressor and the oppressed. His access to information from working in the Great House helps him provide a watchful eye and guiding hand to young Washington Black on Faith Plantation. But standing in two worlds can pull a man apart, and Gaius must somehow find the footing that allows him to serve his people, and still stay alive.
Mwine received widespread praise for his role in the film “Farewell Amor.” He also stars in Solomon Onita Jr.’s film “Tazmanian Devil” as well as “Queen of Katwe” and “Blood Diamond.” He currently appears as Detective Raymond Griggs in the Netflix series “The Lincoln Lawyer.”
Rhind-Tutt will play Erasmus Wilde, the iron-handed master of Faith Plantation in Barbados, where Washington Black begins life in bondage before flying to freedom. A man filled with dark complexities and deep conflict, Erasmus’s internal struggles fuel a bitterness that burns all he touches, especially those under his power at Faith. Much like his brother Titch, Erasmus is fighting to escape the legacy of abandonment and Empire before it all dooms his soul.
Rhind-Tutt is known for his roles in BBC’s “Oliver Twist,” “The Wipers Times,” “The Hour,” and “Banished.” He also previously starred in the Hulu series “Harlots.”
Selwyn Seyfu Hinds will write the adaptation and serve as executive producer.
The series is also executive produced by Sterling K. Brown under his Indian Meadows Productions banner, The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, Lindsay Williams and DJ Goldberg, Anthony Hemingway and Jennifer Johnson. Esi Edugyan is co-producer.
20th Television is the studio.
“Washington Black” is currently in production. The series is also expected to be released internationally as a Star Original on Disney+.