March 12 (UPI) -- Ethan Hawke is to star in Good Lord Bird, an eight-part, limited series based on the novel by James McBride.
"Good Lord Bird is one of my favorite books, told with wit, grace and wisdom by the great James McBride," Hawke said in a statement Monday. "Bringing this story to the screen has been a passion project of mine, and I am incredibly fortunate to have partners who are equally enthusiastic and are making it a reality -- my wife and producing partner Ryan Hawke, and my longtime friends at Blumhouse."
Hawke will play 19th-century abolitionist John Brown in the drama. He also is co-writing and executive producing the project, while Anthony Hemingway (True Blood, Shameless) is set to direct and executive produce.
"This is just the right time for The Good Lord Bird," McBride said. "I wrote it to show we Americans are family -- dysfunctional, screwy, funny, even dangerous to one another at times, but still family nonetheless. Old John Brown always had a knack for landing into the right place at the right time. I'm delighted he's landed in the lap of one of America's most gifted and literate actors."
Hawke, 48, is a four-time Academy Award-nominated actor, who has also penned several novels. His screen credits include Dead Poets Society, Reality Bites, Gattaca, Training Day, Boyhood and The Reformed.