Terrence Howard (Empire) is back after saying he was quitting the acting business. Out of retirement, Howard is set to star alongside Evan Ross (According to Greta) in television drama Delta Blues and direct the pilot. The television drama series about the Mississippi blues comes from Ozark producer Zero Gravity Management, according to Deadline.
This will be Howard’s directorial debut and return after abruptly announcing his depart from the film and television industry. According to Deadline, he claimed that the project’s script forced him to change his mind. He said, “I was done. But I am putting retirement on hold to tell this story. This story is about our history and has to be handled very carefully. I am committed to telling the truths of the times, even the uncomfortable truths.””
Delta Blues is a drama series based on the true events surrounding W.C. Handy, known as the Father of the Blues. The full cast is not yet released and it is unknown who will play Handy. The story is set in a post-Civil War 1903 in the Mississippi Delta, where the freed slaves were still confined under harsh Jim Crow laws. Handy heard faint music from a bluesman in the region for the first time and led a minstrel show called Mahara’s Minstrels; minstrel shows were a type of popular entertainment at the time. He discovered new African American folk music throughout the Mississippi Delta and is asked to lead the brass band of the Black Masonic group Knights of Pythias. He then decides to quit the Minstrels and move to the Delta.
At this point of time, the classically trained Handy details, performs and records music that is now established under the blues genre. He did significant work for the songs he composed, but his most well-known piece is his No. 1 hit, “Saint Louis Blues.” He eventually gets tormented by his success as blues music spreads across the globe, as the show will expand on in detail.
According to Yahoo Entertainment, co-star and executive producer Ross said, “When I read this script, it spoke to me and I knew I had to be a part of it,” he said. “This is a timely project with what is transpiring in our country today. To tell our history and our music history and to be able show the horrors that we have overcome to succeed is powerful, and I am excited to be teamed with Terrence and Zero Gravity to make it happen. The characters in this project are real people that should be household names, but history has erased them from the schoolbooks. Delta Blues is a musical celebration of our people as much as it is a celebration of our strength and fortitude.”