Director Steve McQueen will take on the very famous African-American figure Paul Robeson, best known for singing ‘Ol Man River,’ in his next project, after the huge success of ’12 Years a Slave.’
Robeson, born in 1898, was a singer, actor, athlete and activist, but from the 1920s through the 1950s he was best known for his acting in “Othello” and his singing of “Ol’ Man River.” Robeson’s political activism brought him to the attention of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, leading to the revocation of his passport for eight years despite his contributions as an entertainer to the Allied forces during WWII.
McQueen made the announcement on Monday night at the Hidden Heroes tribute event in New York, he claimed that he had wanted to make a Robeson movie for six years.“His life and legacy was the film I wanted to make the second after ‘Hunger,’” McQueen said at the event, (via The Guardian) “But I didn’t have the power, I didn’t have the juice.”
McQueen said that he first became aware of Robeson when a neighbour gave him a newspaper article about the activist supporting miners in Wales. He also said Harry Belafonte, 87, would have some involvement, but did not disclose what it might be.
It appears that the director is keeping himself busy after his mammoth Oscar win last year, as he’s also penning a brand new original series for HBO entitled ‘Codes of Conduct’ which will star a debutant Devon Terell (pictured below.)
By Will Harper