Hulu teamed up with Lee Daniels to make his passion project, a series about American singer, dancer, actor, comedian, author, film producer and television director Sammy Davis Jr., according to Variety.
Hulu has picked an eight-episode limited series exploring the life of the entertainer and the series is based on the book “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr.,” a 2003 biography by Wil Haygood. Haygood’s book traces the star’s life from his early childhood days in vaudeville to the Civil Rights era, going through his racial identity and his complex relationship with black community.
Actor Elijah Kelley, who previously worked with Daniels on “The Butler” in 2013, has been tapped to lead this untitled series. Kelley is also known for playing Ricky Bell in “The New Edition Story” and the Scarecrow in NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” The actor will also produce the Davis project and contribute original music to the show. Besides the only Black member of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack, he spent most of his career surrounded by controversy and ridicule — over his affairs with white film stars, May Britt, and his conversion to Judaism, and his problems with alcohol and drugs.
The bio pic marks the second major Daniels’ project after he publicly reconciled with “Precious” star Mo’Nique to cast her in his upcoming Netflix horror film “Demon House.” The exorcism thriller is based on an allegedly true story. This horror has been in the works for several years, with Daniels first reportedly expressing interest in “Demon House” back in 2014 before a rights lapse tied up the project.
Daniels will write with his frequent collaborator Thomas Westfall and slated to direct the first two episodes. Westfall and Marc Toberoff Will also serve as executive producers.