Forest Whitaker is set to star as Bumpy Johnson in an upcoming ‘American Gangster’ prequel series. The series will be developed by ‘Narcos’ showrunner Chris Brancato, according to an exclusive from Screen Daily. Amazon and Netflix have been floated as potential destinations for the new show that will undoubtedly bring on a massive bidding war. ‘American Gangster’ is one of the more underrated films from the 2000’s and featured Denzel Washington taking on the role of Frank Lucas who essentially took over for Bumpy Johnson once he passed away. It will be interesting to see how they approach this story seeing as Forest Whitaker isn’t exactly the youngest man in the world. Could the show have multiple Bumpys? Or will it simply focus on the most powerful years of Johnson’s career? Either way, the show is shaping up to be something special and Brancato has even reportedly approached Kendrick Lamar about handling the music for the upcoming series.
Stay tuned for more updates in regard to the prequel as they develop. We’ve attached the synopsis of the original ‘American Gangster’ for context below.
‘Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) earns his living as a chauffeur to one of Harlem’s leading mobsters. After his boss dies, Frank uses his own ingenuity and strict business code to become one of the inner city’s most powerful crime bosses. Meanwhile, veteran cop Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) senses a change in the mob’s power structure and looks for ways to bring his opponent to justice.’ Via Universal