The Tony Award-winning play, A Solider’s Play is being adapted into a limited series by Sony Pictures Television with David Alan Grier, who starred in the play, starring in the limited series.
The series adaptation, spanning multiple wars and several decades, will center on Sgt. Vernon Waters and the emotional impact he is subjected to as a soldier in the 1940s. Grier, who plays Sgt. Waters in the play, will play the character’s father in the limited series.
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The Pulitzer-winning A Soldier’s Play, written Charles Fuller, is set at a Black army base in the segregated Louisiana of 1944. Sergeant Waters – played on Broadway by Grier in a production directed by Kenny Leon – has been murdered, and Army captain Davenport – played by Blair Underwood – arrives at the base to investigate the crime, which might or might not involve the local KKK or even the many Black soldiers who openly despite their hated sergeant.
Bernie Cahill and Jon Kanak of Activist Artists Management, along with Grier are executive producing alongside Fuller.
Search is underway for a writer on the project which will be taken out soon.
The play was first produced Off Broadway in 1981 by the Negro Ensemble Company in a staging that included young Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.
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A Soldier’s Play was adapted to the big screen with the 1984 film, also titled A Soldier’s Story, which was produced by Sony Pictures TV sibling Columbia Pictures. It was directed by Norman Jewison from a script by Fuller and starred Gier in a different role, one of the young soldiers in the murdered sergeant’s company, as well as Adolph Caesar as Sergeant Waters and Denzel Washington, both reprising their roles from the staging. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, Best Pictures, Best Adapted Screenplay for Fuller and Best Supporting Actor for Caesar.
Ahead of the limited series, the play was up for seven nominations in the 74th annual Tony Awards. It won in the categories of Best Revival of a Play and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (Grier).