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Bumpy Johnson crime drama 'Godfather of Harlem' premiering this fall 

Forest Whitaker appears in the period drama as mob boss Bumpy, alongside Nigél Thatch who reprises his role as Malcolm X.

'Godfather of Harlem' trailer

"Godfather of Harlem," about the infamous mob boss Bumpy Johnson, comes to Epix this fall.  (Credit: Epix)

The Godfather of Harlem is back.

A period drama about infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson and human rights activist Malcolm X is set to premiere on Epix this fall. The first trailer for the upcoming series — appropriately titled “Godfather of Harlem” after the late Johnson — was released on Thursday.

“We must fight by whatever means necessary,” cries a riled-up Johnson, portrayed by Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker.

The series, by “Narcos” co-creator Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein, picks up in the early 1960s with Johnson returning from a 10-year prison sentence to find his neighborhood controlled by the Italian mob. Forming an unlikely alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Nigél Thatch), Johnson sets out on a mob war against the Genovese crime family to regain control of Harlem.

“ ‘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,” a release reads.

Whitaker appears alongside Thatch, who previously portrayed Malcolm X in the Oscar-nominated “Selma,” as well as Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul”), Vincent D’Onofrio (“Daredevil”) and Ilfenesh Hadera (“She's Gotta Have It”).

The 10-episode series looks to tell the true tale behind the reign of Bumpy Johnson, born Ellsworth Raymond Johnson, known as the most infamous crime leader in Harlem between 1930 and 1968.


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