Empire star Jussie Smollett has landed a guest-starring role on WGN America’s upcoming drama series Underground, from Misha Green, Joe Pokaski, Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.
Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on the Fox juggernaut Empire, has been cast as Josey, a wild-eyed runaway who doesn’t trust anyone, not even those stationed along the way who would try to help him. He will appear on screen with his younger sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell, marking the first time they have acted together since On Our Own in the mid-1990s.
Created by Green and Pokakski, Underground follows a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom, aided along the way by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad,” according to the network. To succeed, they’ll have to “evade those tasked with bringing them back, dead or alive. Misha Green, Joe Pokaski, Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold and Anthony Hemingway serve as executive producers.
The underground railroad drama, which was picked up by WGN America straight-to-series, is set up at Sony Pictures Television & Tribune Studios and stars Aldis Hodge (Turn), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (True Blood), Alano Miller (Jane The Virgin), Jessica de Gouw (Arrow), Adina Porter (True Blood), Amirah Vann (Girls), Marc Blucas (Blue Bloods), Mykelti Williamson (24), Reed Diamond (Wayward Pines) and Johnny Ray Gill (Rectify).