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A Little More On AMC’s Civil War Drama Series Starring Common As A Freed Bi-Racial Slave…

We know that ABC has its own Civil War drama series in development. Remember we wrote about it a few weeks ago – the one being produced by Lost executive producer Carlton Cuse, and writer/director Randall Wallace (Secretariat, We Were Soldiers).

Specific details about the upcoming series are being kept a secret for now, though they say it will focus “more on fictional characters than on historical figures.” “We are dramatists, not historians…” Wallace said. And we all inhaled :)

Now, before the ABC series was announced, there was news that Raptor (rapper-turned-actor) Common, had landed a lead role in an upcoming AMC period drama titled, Hell on Wheels, billed as a Western that’s centered on the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Common’s will play Elam, a freed bi-racial slave suffering from a routine case of the Tragic Mulatto syndrome. Elam heads west to work on the railroad, hoping to find his place in society, as he doesn’t feel that he fits squarely into either the “black world” or the “white world.”

AMC reps said the role is “complex,” and “requires someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way,” and Common is their guy!

At the time, little else was known about the project. This afternoon brings word that AMC has already committed to a full season of Hell on Wheels, which is set in post-Civil War America, and centers on “a former soldier in the Confederate Army who, in searching for the Union soldiers who killed his wife, finds his way to a lawless town called Hell on Wheels, and to the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.”

Further, the press release said the series would explore “the railroad’s institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience, and the plight of the newly emancipated African-Americans during reconstruction.”

Additional cast members alongside Common are Colm Meaney and Anson Mount (pictured above left).

No premiere date has been announced for either series.

I should also note that, just yesterday, we announced that Sir Ridley Scott was planning to direct an adaptation of a Civil War-set slave revenge novel, The Color Of Lightning. Did I leave anything other titles out?

It’s Civil War fever folks…

7 comments to A Little More On AMC’s Civil War Drama Series Starring Common As A Freed Bi-Racial Slave…

  • Jug

    Honestly, not enthused about this one at all. Randall Wallace, aside from Braveheart, has lackluster to poor films (The Man in the Iron Mask, We Were Soldiers, Pearl Harbor) on his resume. Doesn’t bode well and then you add Common into the mix (let’s face it, he was atrocious in TERMINATOR SALVATION & SMOKIN’ ACES & nothing to write home about in AMERICAN GANGSTER), this might be a one-hitter quitter.

  • Tamara

    That’s great for Common. I mean, I hope he doesn’t ‘sound’ like Common. Or have the mannerisms of Common. I can’t see him dissolving into a role and becoming anything other than ‘Common’ (see what I did there? lol). But good luck to him and AMC and all Civil-War projects pre/during/post production… :|

  • Oh great, another Civil War story where you’re supposed to sympathize with the Southern soldier. You know who the real underdogs where during the Civil War? Slaves. It’s time to put this “Lost Cause” bullshit to bed.

  • Miles Ellison

    Great. More “Lost Cause” Civil War stories. Must miss.

  • Since they’re dramatists rather than historians, will there be any zombies, or maybe chainguns strapped to a horse?

  • Savannah

    i’m torn. i LOVE AMC’s drama’s (breaking bad! mad men!), but i agree with blackmarketindex. i really don’t need to see another civil war story from a confederate p.o.v. they are not heroes. why celebrate this?

    and common is not all that bad in my opinion. so long as he doesn’t try for a southern accent. keep it neutral common.

  • Miss Me

    Blackmarketindex said it all.