EXCLUSIVE: Michael Raymond-Jamesn (Sweet Girl) has been tapped for the key role of mob boss Joe Colombo opposite Forrest Whitaker in the upcoming third season of Epix drama series Godfather of Harlem.
Created by Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein, Godfather of Harlem tells a story inspired by infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned from eleven years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. Season 3 will find Bumpy Johnson continuing to battle for control of Harlem, with other aspirants to the throne, namely the Cuban Mafia from neighboring Spanish Harlem. Taking on the Cuban mob will put Bumpy, his loved ones, and his community in the crosshairs of not only the rival Italians, but ruthless Latin assassins and, ultimately, the CIA. Godfather of Harlem is a collision of the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.
Raymond-James’ Colombo represents the “new mob,” forward-thinking, progressive, and tired of the old mob rules and regulations. He sets out to remake the mob in his own image: brash, brilliant, and able to work with the diverse players in the narcotics and prostitution rackets. He wants a true partnership with Bumpy Johnson, but when that becomes impossible, he will seek other allies in the competition for who will become the true “Godfather of Harlem.”
In Season 3, Malcolm X (Jason Carvell), the radical militant preacher who left the Nation of Islam and traveled the world to press for black political advancement, finds himself in the cross-hairs of danger from former associates, in addition to the NYPD, FBI and CIA.
In addition to Whitaker, who also executive produces, Season 3 cast includes Vincent D’Onofrio, Ilfenesh Hadera, Lucy Fry, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and Giancarlo Esposito.
Godfather of Harlem is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios. Brancato, Eckstein, Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, James Acheson, Markuann Smith and Joe Chappelle executive produce. Swizz Beatz serves as executive music producer.
Raymond-James next will be seen opposite Jason Momoa in the upcoming third and final season of Apple’s post-apocalyptic drama series See. Other recent credits include the Netflix film, Sweet Girl, Kevin Williamson’s Tell Me a Story, NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime, Showtime’s Billions, HBO’s True Blood and ABC’s Once Upon A Time. He is repped by Gersh, Principal Entertainment LA and Peikoff Mahan.