In the past year, prominent films about slavery like Lincoln, Django Unchained, and 12 Years A Slave have continued the cinematic conversation about America’s most shameful legacy. Now Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito will enter the fray by directing Patriotic Treason, an adaptation of Evan Carton’s book about abolitionist John Brown’s infamous 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry in the prelude to the Civil War. This will be Esposito’s second time in the director’s chair, after his 2008 debut Gospel Hill.
Ed Harris is attached to play Brown, while Esposito will appear as Frederick Douglass, who declined Brown’s offer to join the raid because he believed it would fail. Oscar-nominated screenwriter and playwright Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries, On The Road) will pen the script. There’s no indication yet whether the adaptation will also include the other famous abolitionist Brown asked to join the attack, Harriet Tubman, who was unable to take part due to illness.