Lee Daniels On Sammy Davis Jr. series to Hulu
Lee Daniels is bringing the life of Sammy Davis Jr. to TV with an eight-episode limited series. The show, which is based on the book “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr.” by Globe alum Wil Haygood, will run on Hulu.
Still untitled, it will follow the entertainer, na singer, an actor, a dancer, a writer through his career, including his early vaudeville years, his membership in the Rat Pack, his conversion to Judaism, his legendary appearance on “All in the Family,” and his marriages.
Elijah Kelley will star as Davis. He has worked with Daniels twice already, in the series “Star” and the movie “The Butler.” He was also featured in the movie adaptation of “Hairspray,” as Seaweed Stubbs, and in “The New Edition Story” and “The Bobby Brown Story” as Ricky Bell.
Lee Daniels To Direct Dramatic Sammy Davis Jr. Hulu Series Starring Elijah Kelley
After directing “The United States Vs. Billie Holiday,” Lee Daniels is returning to the world of period biopics with a new dramatic series focused on singer/actor Sammy Davis Jr. one of the most charismatic and accessible black entertainers of the last century.
Daniels has hired Elijah Kelley (“Hairspray,” “Red Tails“) to play the legendary performer after previously working with together on the drama “The Butler.” The eight-episode series is based on the novel “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.” penned by Wil Haygood, will air on Hulu, and comes from 20th Century Television.
Daniels is set to direct the first two episodes of the streaming series that has the working title of “Sammy.”
Davis Jr., was a prolific recording artist starring in countless film and television projects. Including the iconic “Ocean’s 11” alongside fellow Rat Pack members, and appeared on the beloved Norman Lear series “All In The Family.” Breaking multiple racial/cultural stereotypes. Lovingly known as the “Candy Man” for his smooth voice. Davis Jr. was once considered for the Willy Wonka role before Gene Wilder was selected for the original movie.
The outlet added an official synopsis for the biopic series and hints at the more dramatic elements.
Sammy Davis, Jr. rose from childhood stardom on the vaudeville stage. Becoming one of the most famous African American entertainers of the 1950s and ’60s. The only Black member of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack). Spent most of his career surrounded by controversy and ridicule–over his affairs with white film stars. Addressing his 1960 marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, his conversion to Judaism. Acknowledging troubling times his closeness to the Kennedy’s and later Richard Nixon, and his problems with alcohol and drugs.
Daniels is also behind a series reboot of the spy thriller “The Spook Who Sat By The Door.” Also Helming a new Netflix exorcism horror film titled “Demon House.” With a family in Indiana coming to the conclusion their home is a portal to hell. A fantastic cast that includes Octavia Spencer, Glenn Close, Rob Morgan, Caleb McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Andra Day, and Tasha Smith.
It’s unclear when the Hulu series will begin shooting.