Giancarlo Esposito Plans Patriotic Treason

A slavery drama with Ed Harris

As Gus Fring, he was the most compelling, calculating and then (spoiler alert) cooked villain on Breaking Bad. But in real life Giancarlo Esposito is really a friendly, charming bloke. He’s also a director and has set his sights on a new project, an adaptation of Evan Carton’s book Patriotic Treason, in which he’s also planning to star alongside Ed Harris.

The full title of Carton’s book – which Jose Rivera will adapt – is Patriotic Treason: John Brown and The Soul Of America, which follows the man who planned an attack in 1859 on a ferry carrying slaves. His hope was to kick-start a slave uprising, but the incident left 11 dead and Brown in custody. He was eventually found guilty of treason and hanged, and ionically, despite being decried as a violent lunatic, his actions did help spark the Civil War.

Harris will be Brown, while Esposito is playing freed-slave-turned-abolitionist Frederick Douglas, who refused to join the raid. “John Brown was the lightning rod of his place and time, but, to me, his story is just as electric in our world today, where controversies about race, religion, patriotism, and the use of violence for democratic ends are as intense as they were then,” Esposito says in a statement picked up by Deadline.

Assuming everything else falls into place, Esposito will shoot the film next summer, most likely during his hiatus from TV drama Revolution.