Blankson-Wood joins leads Carla Woodcock and Callum Kerr, Lesley-Ann Brandt, who Deadline revealed earlier this week, and Olumide Olorunfemi and Bebe Bettencourt in the project.
The project, which is based on Richard Mason’s novel, is a musical drama set in Amsterdam in 1907 — a tale of a charismatic young man’s explosive adventures through all the temptations of the Belle Époque.
The book, which was published in 2012 by Penguin Random House, follows Piet Barol, who has an instinctive appreciation for pleasure and a gift for finding it. When his mother dies, Piet applies for a job as tutor to the troubled son of Europe’s leading hotelier – a child who refuses to leave his family’s mansion on one of Amsterdam’s grandest canals. As Piet enters this glittering world, he learns its secrets and finds his life transformed
Tony Nominee Blankson-Wood will play Ntando, who grew up in the Xhosa heartlands of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, and left his village to seek employment in the city, where he so distinguished himself that his boss brought him to Amsterdam to work in his own house. In Europe, Ntando has a freedom he couldn’t have dreamed of – and he’s enjoying it to the max.
In addition to Slave Play, Blankson-Wood has featured in films such as Blackkklansman and Worth and TV appearances include The Good Fight, Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us and Ryan Murphy’s upcoming Netflix series Monster.
ABC Signature is producing the pilot in association with American Gods and The Mosquito Coast producer Fremantle and Hat Trick Productions, the British production company behind series such as Showtime’s Episodes and Anna Paquin’s Flack.
Mason executive produces with Julie Robinson, who will direct, along with The Greatest Showman director Michael Gracey, Hat Trick Productions boss Jimmy Mulville and Fremantle. Christopher Read will compose the music, along with Mason, and also serves as executive producer.
Blankson-Wood is represented by APA and D2 Management.