“The American dream, by any means necessary” is how Forest Whitaker previously described Godfather of Harlem , and the first trailer for the new Epix series shows that the road to that dream will have more than a few bumps.
Inspired by true events, Godfather stars Whitaker as infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson, who, after a decade locked up, returns home to a much different 1960s Harlem. “Times have changed,” Italian mobster Vincent Gigante (Vincent D’Onofrio) tells Johnson in the trailer, to which he responds, “I haven’t.”
While Johnson must deal with regaining control of the Harlem streets from Gigante’s Genovese crime family, he’s also learning of the changing political landscape, which includes the rise of his associates Malcolm X (Nigel Thatch) and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (Giancarlo Esposito).
“The combination of looking at the criminal world and the intersection with the civil rights movement and the politics of the day is really interesting,” Whitaker previously told EW. “Bumpy’s starting to understand those things and how to stake claim to what he thinks are his rights to survive.”
Godfather of Harlem premieres Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. ET on Epix.