“Harlem is a tinder box” and “it’s about to explode” in the first trailer for upcoming Epix series, “Godfather of Harlem,” which stars Forest Whitaker as Bumpy Johnson.
The 10-episode, hour-long drama series is inspired by the story of Johnson, a crime boss who in the early 1960s returned from 10 years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Johnson must take on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Nigél Thatch), catching Malcolm’s political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart.
Epix describes “Godfather of Harlem” as “a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.”
That checks out with Tuesday’s sneak peek. Watch the trailer above.
In addition to Whitaker and Thatch, the cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, lfenesh Hadera, Paul Sorvino, Chazz Palminteri, Giancarlo Esposito, Lucy Fry, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy.
Produced by ABC Signature Studios, the series is co-created and executive produced by Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein. Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, along with James Acheson and Markuann Smith, serve as executive producers. Brancato is showrunner.
“Godfather of Harlem” premieres Sept. 29 at 10/9c on Epix.