The Wonder Years star is in discussions to play Jamaican-Canadian Community worker Harry Gairey
TORONTO — Casting is underway for In the Black and popular American actor Richard Gant has been attached to the project to play the role of Jamaican-born Harry Gairey. Produced by CaribbeanTales Media Group and directed by Caribbean-Canadian Frances-Anne Solomon, the feature film is an adaptation of entrepreneur and activist Jamaican-Canadian Denham Jolly’s memoirof the same name.
In the newly re-imagined The Wonder Years (ABC), Gant guest stars as Granddaddy Clisby – the latest role for the 77-year-old actor who also plays grumpy Walter on CBS’s The Neighborhood. The veteran actor is known for his roles on Greenleaf (Percy Lee), The Mindy Project (Melville Fuller), Men of a Certain Age (Owen Thoreau, Sr.), General Hospital and NYPD Blue.
“I met Richard last year in Los Angeles at the premiere of Hero at the Director’s Guild of America Theater,” recalls Solomon. “So, when I was thinking about who would be the perfect actor to play the role of the legendary Harry Gairey, a Jamaican-born community leader and activist who worked as a railroad porter, Richard’s commanding presence and booming voice instantly came to mind. He will be phenomenal!”
In the Black focuses on Jolly’s journey from Jamaica to Canada, the enormous influence Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey had on his life as well as Jolly’s fight to secure a licence for a Black-owned Toronto radio station, Flow 93.5.
The film has received support from the Harold Greenberg Fund and Telefilm Canada. Producer Nicole Brooks has also recently signed onto the project. Brooks’ production work began with Frances-Anne as story editor for Lord Have Mercy (Vision TV/Showcase/APTN/Toronto One) and she has gone on to create and produce several critically acclaimed and groundbreaking television and theatre productions including Echo (SunTV), Divine Restoration (Vision TV/ TVOne), Obeah Opera and executive produced CaribbeanTales’ slate of international pilots through its flagship Incubator Training Program. Also on board are writer Andrew Burrow-Trotman – The Porter (CBC) Frankie Drake Mysteries (CBC) Utopia Falls (CBC/Hulu), Diggstown (CBC) and development executive Jamie Gaetz. Solomon’s recent feature film, Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross is now available on Showtime, Prime Video, Hulu and Cineplex Store.