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This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown to lead Hulu's miniseries adaptation of Washington Black

Screenwriter Selwyn Seyfu Hinds will adapt Esi Edugyan’s 2018 international bestselling novel

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Sterling K. Brown
Sterling K. Brown
Photo: Paras Griffin (Getty Images)

This Is Us’ Sterling K. Brown next series is described as a “triumphant voyage of daring dreams, steampunk and the magic of the human heart.” Brown is set to star and executive produce Washington Black, a series based on Esi Edugyan’s historical adventure novel. The Twilight Zone writer Selwyn Seyfu Hinds will helm the script for the Hulu limited series.

Washington Black follows the whirlwind 19th century adventures of George Washington (“Wash”) Black—an 11-year-old slave 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, Harris 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.

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“Washington Black inspires me,” says Brown. “This young man and the adventure he undertakes remind me of how the power of imagination and the creativity of artistry can transform the world in which we live. Selwyn Seyfu Hinds has taken the transcendent words of Esi Edugyan and created a spectacular universe that brings to fruition the power of possibility.”

Along Wash’s journey, a hero’s tale begins to take shape.The bildungsroman follows a singular young boy who starts as one thing but becomes many: A pirate ship-stowaway-turned-initiate; rugged explorer of uncharted territory; survivor of the tundra, the desert and the high seas; an engineer; an inventor; an artist.

Wash travels the globe—from searing Barbados heat to Arctic ice—and finds an unexpected and fraught love along the way.

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“The world has felt like we’re living in darkest night, stumbling to find and hold onto a North Star to make a way forward,” Hinds says. “Like many of us, I’ve felt lost far too often. But writing Washington Black these past two years has guided me back home. This story of a young Black boy who becomes a globe-trotting artist, scientist and inventor. This tale of the true human superpowers: hope, love, empathy, persistence. Those ideas have been my North Star.”