The Big Cigar: André Holland to star in Black Panther drama for Apple TV+
James R | On 09, Apr 2022
Apple TV+ has given the green light to The Big Cigar, a drama about the true story of Black Panther leader Huey P Newton.
André Holland (The Eddy, Moonlight) is in discussions to star in the drama, which will tell the extraordinary, hilarious, almost-too-good-to-be-true story of how Newton relied on his best friend, Bert Schneider, the Hollywood producer behind Easy Rider, to elude a nationwide manhunt and escape to Cuba while being pursued into exile by the FBI.
The six-episode limited series is based on the eponymous magazine article from Joshuah Bearman (Argo), who will also serve as executive producer. It will be written by Jim Hecht (Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty) and showrun by NAACP Image Award winner Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws, The Kings of Napa), with Don Cheadle (No Sudden Move, Black Monday, House of Lies) on board to direct. All four will be exec-producers on the project.
The series hails from Warner Bros. Television, where Sherman Barrois and her Folding Chair Productions are under an overall deal. The drama is also exec-produced by Hecht and Sherman Barrois, as well as Bearman, Joshua Davis, and Arthur Spector (Little America), through their production company Epic, a division of Vox Media Studios.
The series marks the latest collaboration for Apple TV+ and Warner Bros Television, following the recently announced series orders for Shrinking, a new comedy that will star Jason Segel and Harrison Ford, with Segel also serving as writer and executive producer alongside Ted Lasso Emmy Award winners Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein; Bad Monkey, a new drama from Lawrence that will star Vince Vaughn, who will also serve as executive producer; as well as the global hit series Ted Lasso.
The Big Cigar is the second collaboration for Epic and Apple TV+. It joins the returning award-winning series Little America produced by Bearman, Spector, along with Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V Gordon, Lee Eisenberg, Alan Yang and Academy Award winner Siân Heder.