Nas and Mark Canton Join Forces to Bring Maurice Ashley’s Inspiring Chess Journey to TV

Nas and Mark Canton Join Forces to Bring Maurice Ashley's Inspiring Chess Journey to TV

Nas and Power Universe EP Mark Canton are set to venture into the world of chess, creating a TV series based on the life and triumphs of Maurice Ashley, the first Black International Chess Grandmaster. The collaboration, backed by Ordinary Angels producers Green Hummingbird Entertainment and producer Alexandra Renee-Scott, is poised to deliver an eight-episode inaugural season chronicling Ashley’s groundbreaking journey, exclusively set in the vibrant backdrop of New York City.

Renowned for his lyrical prowess, Nas expressed his gratitude for being part of this project, stating, “I’m grateful to be part of bringing Maurice Ashley’s incredible life to the screen. His story is one of greatness, and his perseverance will continue to inspire the next generation of thinkers.” Mark Canton, former chairman of Columbia Pictures, echoed the sentiment, expressing excitement about moving forward with the series.

Maurice Ashley, a Jamaican-born and Brooklyn-raised chess prodigy, achieved the Grandmaster title in 1999. Beyond his individual accomplishments, Ashley founded the Harlem Chess Center and coached national champions such as Harlem’s Raging Rooks and the Dark Knights. Recognized for his significant contributions, Ashley was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 2016.

The Grandmaster himself shared his thoughts on the upcoming series, expressing gratitude towards Nas and the entire project. “I’m so humbled to have my story told and so grateful that Nas has embraced this project,” Ashley stated. He emphasized the broader narrative, saying, “It is not just a story about me; it’s about the community of people who have influenced and enriched my life too.”

The series aims to shed light on the journey of resilience, triumph, and the indomitable human spirit embodied by Maurice Ashley. Green Hummingbird Entertainment’s Sian Edwards-Beal highlighted the significance of Ashley’s story, stating, “Maurice Ashley’s story is one of resilience, triumph, and the power of the human spirit.”

As Nas and Mark Canton embark on this creative endeavor, supported by the expertise of Green Hummingbird Entertainment, the TV series promises to captivate audiences with a narrative that goes beyond the chessboard, resonating with themes of pursuing dreams, defying expectations, and shocking the world.

The collaboration is represented by WME for Nas, Gersh for Canton Entertainment, and Glaser Weil’s Patricia Glaser, along with Simon Pulman at Pryor Cashman for Green Hummingbird Entertainment. The project stands as a testament to the convergence of entertainment, chess mastery, and storytelling excellence.

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