André Holland Set To Star As Black Panther Boss Huey Newton In ‘The Big Cigar’ For Apple From Janine Sherman Barrois, Don Cheadle, Jim Hecht & Warner Bros. TV

The wild story of how Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton was able to elude a nationwide manhunt and escape to Cuba while being pursued into exile by the FBI is being turned into a TV series for Apple.

The streamer has ordered six-part limited series The Big Cigar.

Moonlight and The Eddy star André Holland is in talks to star as Newton and the series comes from Claws showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois, Don Cheadle, Jim Hecht, Joshuah Bearman and Warner Bros. TV.

The series is based on the eponymous Playboy magazine article from Bearman, who will also serve as executive producer.

It tells how Newton escaped to Cuba to avoid prosecution for murder with the help of Bert Schneider, the Hollywood producer behind Easy Rider, as well as a few other celebrity radicals.

Jim Hecht, who co-created HBO’s Winning Time, writes and exec produces, based on a story that he created with Bearman.

The duo have had the project in the works for over a decade, having previously sold the rights to Sony Pictures-based producer Matt Tolmach with Little Miss Sunshine’s Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris attached to direct a feature version.

Sherman Barrois will serve as showrunner and exec produce with Don Cheadle on board to direct and exec produce the first two episodes.

It is produced by Warner Bros. Television, where Sherman Barrois and her Folding Chair Productions are under an overall deal.

Joshua Davis and Arthur Spector, through their production company Epic, a division of Vox Media Studios, also exec produce.

It marks the second collaboration between Epic, the publishing and production venture founded by Bearman and Davis, and Apple TV+ after the two companies worked together on Little America from Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon, Lee Eisenberg, Alan Yang, and Siân Heder.

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