WGN America to Premiere Smollett-Bell’s “Underground” in March

Jurnee Smollett-Bell is heading Underground this coming March.

WGN America will premiere its Underground Railroad thriller Underground, starring the 29-year-old Brazilian American actress, on Wednesday, March 9.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell in Underground

The network has released the first two trailers (see below) for the 10-episode series starring Smollett-Bell as Rosalee.

From creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski and executive producer John Legend, the series follows a courageous blacksmith who covertly organizes a small group of his fellow slaves and pieces together a daring plan of escape across hundreds of miles to freedom.

The cast also includes Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, ‎Jessica de Gouw, Marc Blucas, ‎Adina Porter, Mykelti Williamson, ‎Amirah Vann, Johnny Ray Gill, Chris Chalk, Reed Diamond, Theodus Crane, Renwick Scott and Jussie Smollett.

Anthony Hemingway directs and serves as executive producer for the first four episodes.

Underground is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.

Smollet to Guest Star on WGN America’s Pre-Civil War Series “Underground”

Jussie Smollett  is going Underground

The 32-year-old Brazilian actor/singer and breakout Empire star will guest-star on two episodes of Underground, WGN America’s pre-Civil War straight-to-series drama about the Underground Railroad.

Jussie Smollett

The series from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios follows a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom. They are aided along the way by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad, as they evade those tasked with bringing them back — dead or alive.

Smollett is Josey, a wild-eyed runaway who doesn’t trust anyone, not even those stationed along the way who would try to help him.

Smollet will appear alongside his sister, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, in the series. She’ll portray Rosalee, a timid house slave who finds strength within herself.

Underground is expected to premiere in 2016.

Mujica the Subject of Upcoming Documentary Film

He’s been called “the world’s ‘poorest’ president”… But Uruguayan President José “Pepe” Mujica apparently has a wealth of Hollywood appeal.

The 78-year-old Uruguayan politician will be the subject of a documentary from Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.

José “Pepe” Mujica

The film will begin shooting next December, during Mujica’s scheduled visit to the United States.

According to Uruguayan weekly Busqueda, the idea came from Mujica’s staff, which contacted the director of Underground 18 months ago.

Last week, Kusturica played a concert in Belgium with his No Smoking Orchestra, and confirmed his involvement as the project’s director and scriptwriter. Kusturica played that gig wearing the Uruguayan soccer team t-shirt.

The film, which will kick-off principal photography when Mujica meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in December, will be produced with Uruguayan, Argentine, and Brazilian capital. Argentine production company K&S Films is reportedly researching archive footage.

A former left-wing guerrilla fighter, Mujica was a political prisoner during the 1970s. He managed to escape prison in 1971 together with other Tupamaros leaders but was shot six times and recaptured by police. He served another 14 years and was released in 1985 when democracy was restored in the country.

Since he was elected the country’s 40th president in 2010, Mujica has made headlines worldwide due to Uruguay’s recent groundbreaking liberal policies (laws legalizing gay marriage, abortion, and marijuana were passed by Congress) and his extremely humble and discreet style, which has won him the depiction of being “the world’s poorest President.”

Mujica donates around 90 percent of his $12,000 monthly salary to charities to benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs, according to BBC News Magazine.