Anytime a Chicagoan hears “Michael Jordan is bringing a new franchise to town” their ears understandably perk up, but in this case, it’s BLACK PANTHER and CREED star Michael B. Jordan (pictured above) and the television series he is executive producing for AMC, 61ST STREET, which begins filming this Monday in Chicago. Ordered as a two-season television event with eight episodes per season, 61ST STREET is slated to film through November and is expected to premiere in 2022.
Emmy-winning actor Courtney B. Vance (THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY) will star in the series. 61ST STREET is a timely and relevant story that echoes projects such as JUST MERCY, CLEMENCY, and WHEN THEY SEE US. It follows Moses Johnson (played by DOCTOR WHO’s Tosin Cole), a promising, black high school athlete, who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. Taken by the police as a supposed gang member, he finds himself in the eye of the storm as police and prosecutors seek revenge for the death of an officer during a drug bust gone wrong.
Emmy Nominee Ellis Joins Cast
More of the 61ST STREET cast and crew is taking shape. Holt McCallany (MINDHUNTER), Emmy Nominee Aunjanue Ellis (who starred with Courtney Vance in HBO’s LOVECRAFT COUNTRY), Killian Scott (DUBLIN MURDERS) have joined the cast. McCallany will play Lieutenant Tardelli, a Chicago police lieutenant running a hard, dirty squad. He believes in keeping peace on the streets by force, no matter the cost. Ellis will portray Martha Roberts, a candidate for alderman on the South Side who is very skilled at telling the voting public that her drive and ambition will be placed at their service. The wife of Franklin Roberts (played by Courtney Vance) and a former stay-at-home mom to their autistic son, David, Martha is torn between her burgeoning career in politics and the needs of her family. Killian Scott will play Rocco Andretti, a legacy Chicago police officer. When a murder occurs on the streets during a drug bust gone wrong, he’s forced to question his commitment to the department while examining his own morality.
Award-Winning EP’s Join Jordan
As for the production team, Michael B. Jordan is joined by fellow executive producers Alana Mayo of Outlier Society and J. David Shanks. BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat (CRIMINAL JUSTICE, THE NIGHT OF, YOUR HONOR) serves as executive producer and showrunner. Stephanie Accetta, who was UPM of AMC’s Emmy-nominated series HALT AND CATCH FIRE, will step in as the Unit Production Manager for 61ST STREET.
Check back here at Screen Magazine for updates as this series heads into production this month.
Photo Credit: Joan Hernandez Mir