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Forest Whitaker To Star In American Gangster Prequel TV Series

By: April Meneghetti
We would not have suspected that someone would come up with an idea that is – however tangentially – connected to Ridley Scott's 2007 film American Gangster. But a TV series is in the works that would cover the years before Denzel Washington's Frank Lucas burst on to the New York crime scene. Forest Whitaker is attached to star in The Godfather Of Harlem.

Narcos co-creator Chris Brancato has told Screen International that he's working on the new show, with Whitaker on board as mob boss Bumpy Johnson. "It’s Harlem, the 1960s, a gangster named Bumpy Johnson was very close friends with Malcom X, so the show is about the collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement," says Brancato. "It’s an opportunity to examine some of the things that are going on racially right now, but through the prism of the past." The show will be set around five years before Gangster.

It's early days for the new series, and it doesn't yet have a home. But given Brancato's connections to Netflix, we'd imagine the company will be among those interested. He's also been talking to Kendrick Lamar about providing music for the series.

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