‘The Big Cigar’: Huey P. Newton Contemplates His ‘Second Chance at Life’ After Prison in Exclusive Clip | Video

The new Apple TV+ biographical miniseries about the Black Panther Party cofounder premieres Friday

Huey P. Newton (André Holland) is contemplating his “second chance at life” following his release from prison in TheWrap’s exclusive sneak peek at the new Apple TV+ series. In the clip, he explains to Hollywood producer Bert Schneider (Alessandro Nivola) how bias in media coverage impacts the Black Panther Party’s image.

“Hate that we have to get the stars to lure the cameras. They didn’t have any trouble finding us when we were out in the street with our guns policing the police, you know what I mean?” Huey says, referring to how Bert’s presence finally brought positive press attention to the Party’s free food cafeteria for children while the media often actively covered their run-ins with the police.

In 1970, the real-life Newton was released from prison after his voluntary manslaughter conviction from a 1967 shootout was overturned. In the miniseries teaser, the Black Panther Party cofounder opens up about how he wants to take a new path and leave some of their old traditions behind.

“I don’t want to be that guy in the wicker chair anymore, man. I mean, I understand why people like the image, but it ain’t me,” he explains. “That’s what the elders came up with. And when I got out of the pen, man, I got a second chance at life that I didn’t think I was gon’ get, understand? And I don’t want to spend that time sending people to their graves. If I’ma have an image, I want it to be one that helps people.”

The six-episode limited series is based on Joshuah Bearman’s (“Argo”) magazine article “The Big Cigar.” Per Apple TV+’s description of the show, it “tells the incredible true story of Hollywood revolution meeting social revolution. It’s a wild caper about Black Panther founder Huey P. Newton escaping from the FBI to Cuba with the assistance of famed producer Bert Schneider in an impossibly elaborate plan – involving a fake movie production – that goes wrong every way it possibly can.”

The full cast includes Holland, Nivola, Tiffany Boone, P.J. Byrne, Marc Menchaca, Moses Ingram, Rebecca Dalton, Olli Haaskivi, Jordane Christie and Glynn Turman. The series was produced by Janine Sherman Barrois, Jim Hecht and Bearman. The first two episodes were directed and executive produced by Don Cheadle, while Barrois serves as showrunner and writer and Hecht penned the show’s first episode.

“The Big Cigar” premieres Friday, May 17 — the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling

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