Last year’s Broadway revival of A Soldier’s Play is set to become a limited series. According to Deadline, Tony-nominated actor, David Alan Grier (The Resident, The Cool Kids) will star and executive produce an adaptation of the play with Sony Pictures Television. Written by Charles Fuller (Love Songs, A Gathering of Old Men), the play made its official Broadway debut in January 2020.
According to Deadline, the revival saw Grier take the role as enigmatic Sergeant Vernon Waters, whose murder in 1940s Lousiana launches the story’s themes of race, duty, and country. Blair Underwood (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Really Love) played the role of Army captain Davenport who is tasked with investigating Waters’ death. For the limited series, Grier will play the role of Waters’ father.
A Soldier’s Play has had a long, prosperous history – on stage and screen – since it originally debuted off-Broadway in 1981, via Deadline. A part of the Negro Ensemble Company’s repertoire, the original cast included Adolph Caesar (The Color Purple, The Hitter) as Waters, as well as Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth, Malcolm X) and Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel’s Avengers, Lakeview Terrace), before their movie fame. The Pulitzer Prize winner was adapted for the film, A Soldier’s Story, in 1984. Waters and Washington reprised their roles as Grier co-starred as one of the young soldiers. The movie went on to score three Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay for Fuller, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Caesar.
Grier and Fuller are joined by Activist Artists Management’s Bernie Cahill (III, Pittsburgh) and Jon Kanak (Reset, Broken) to executive produce the series, via Deadline. A writer for the project is currently being sought. News of this project arrives days away from Sunday’s Tony Awards, which finds A Soldier’s Play nominated seven times. Grier, already a three-time nominee, is up for Best Performance By An Actor in a Featured Role in a Play. Underwood will seek to win for Best Performance By A Lead Actor in a Role in a Play, while Fuller is nominated for Best Revival of a Play.