Showtime series ‘The Good Lord Bird’ to begin filming this summer in Central Va.


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Production for a new Showtime limited series starring Ethan Hawke as 19th-century abolitionist John Brown will begin this summer in Central Virginia. 

“The Good Lord Bird,” based on a National Book Award-winning novel from author James McBride, follows an enslaved teenager named Henry, who is given the nickname Little Onion by Brown, during the Bleeding Kansas era. 

The eight-part limited series will center on the time period and the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. The raid failed to start a slave revolt, as Brown had hoped, but is credited with provoking the start of the Civil War. 

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the plans for the show on Thursday. 

“The Good Lord Bird will be a fantastic showcase of all that our Commonwealth has to offer,” said Gov. Northam. “Virginia has emerged as a popular destination for lucrative film and television productions, a hard-earned reflection of our film-friendly atmosphere, talented workers, and unparalleled scenery.”

The series, which will be produced by Blumhouse Television, adds to the growing list of projects being filmed in the Commonwealth. Leaders of the production company shared their excitement with the announcement and boasted on what Virginia would bring to the show.  

“Virginia is the perfect production home for The Good Lord Bird,” said Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold, co-presidents of Blumhouse Television. “The state’s visual backdrop lends itself beautifully to what we are looking to bring to the screen, the talent in the state is top notch and of course, Virginia has a historical relevance to this story.”

“The Good Lord Bird” is eligible for a Virginia film tax credit or grant, with the exact amount depending on several factors: how many Virginia workers are hired, the Virginia goods and services bought during production and more. 

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