Whoopi Goldberg to Produce and Possibly Star in Scripted Harlem Crime Drama for Bravo
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Whoopi Goldberg to Produce and Possibly Star in Scripted Harlem Crime Drama for Bravo

Whoopi Goldberg

Three months after announcing her intent to leave “The View” at the end of the 2016/2017 TV season to focus more on original film and TV content, Whoopi Goldberg has already added 2+ projects to her to-do list.

The first, announced in September, is a scripted feature film on Emmett Till which she will direct, making it her narrative feature directorial debut. Recall she directed a documentary on Moms Mabley for HBO 2 years ago.

This Emmett Till film hails from Keith A. Beauchamp (the director of the 2005 documentary, “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till”) and producer Frederick Zollo (“Mississippi Burning,” “Ghosts of Mississippi”), and will be based on Beauchamp’s documentary, as well as Simeon Wright’s “Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till.”

The film, to be titled simply “Till,” was the beneficiary of a 2014 Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $50,000 to jump-start the production process. Filming is now scheduled to begin next year in Mississippi, so we can assume that financing is in place, or will be sooner than later.

As for casting, Goldberg has said that she wants a relatively unknown actor to play Till, and has her eyes set on Markees Christmas, star of indie crowd-pleaser “Morris from America,” which was released earlier this year.

The second project, announced today, will see Goldberg executive producing and possibly starring. The currently untitled series is set up at the Bravo network, known mostly for its unscripted fare; although Goldberg’s will be scripted, and will center on a Harlem crime boss who is reunited with her oldest son – a son that can pass for white, and whom she thought was dead after he faked his death when he was a teenager, and left to star a new start on life elsewhere. He returns to New York City to run for mayor.

I assume the fact that the son can pass for white will be of some significant influence on the story, otherwise it wouldn’t be mentioned.

Goldberg will executive produce via her One Ho Productions shingle, alongside president Tom Leonardis. She also is eyeing the Harlem crime boss role, but she isn’t attached at this time. An immediate question I have is what character will be central to the story: the black woman who also happens to be a Harlem crime boss, or her son who can pass for white, who is running for mayor? Or maybe both stories will be central.

Amitabh Klemm will write the script and also executive produce the project, which hails from Universal Cable Productions.

The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news on the currently untitled Bravo project, which is still in early development.

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