EXCLUSIVE: Jason Alan Carvell (NCIS: New Orleans) has been tapped to play the key role of Malcolm X in the upcoming third season of Epix drama series Godfather of Harlem in a recasting. Production begins this week in New York on the series, starring Forrest Whitaker.
Created by Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein, Godfather of Harlem tells a story inspired by infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned from eleven years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. Season 3 will find Bumpy Johnson continuing to battle for control of Harlem, with other aspirants to the throne, namely the Cuban Mafia from neighboring Spanish Harlem. Taking on the Cuban mob will put Bumpy, his loved ones, and his community in the crosshairs of not only the rival Italians, but ruthless Latin assassins and, ultimately, the CIA. Godfather of Harlem is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.
In Season 3, Malcolm X (Carvell), the radical militant preacher who left the Nation of Islam and traveled the world to press for black political advancement, finds himself in the cross-hairs of danger from former associates, in addition to the NYPD, FBI and CIA.
Carvell takes over the role from Nigél Thatch, who portrayed the character in the first two seasons, as well as in the 2014 Oscar-nominated film Selma.
Carvell joins a stellar list of actors who have previously played the role of Malcolm X including Denzel Washington (Malcolm X), James Earl Jones (The Greatest) and Morgan Freeman (Death of a Prophet), among others.
In addition to Whitaker, who also executive produces, Season 3 cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Ilfenesh Hadera, Lucy Fry, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and Giancarlo Esposito.
Godfather of Harlem is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios. Brancato, Eckstein, Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, James Acheson, Markuann Smith and Joe Chappelle executive produce. Swizz Beatz serves as executive music producer.
Carvell most recently wrapped a multi-season recur as Jimmy Boyd on NCIS: New Orleans, as well as a recur on Netflix’s The Baker and the Beauty. He’s repped by Sinclair Management and KMR Talent.