Godfather of Harlem season three: An interview with Chris Brancato
Back on screen for a highly anticipated third season, Godfather of Harlem is an action-packed crime drama from screenwriter Chris Brancato that first premiered in 2019. Set in the early 1960s, with Forest Whittaker reprising his role as Bumpy Johnson, a New York Gangster who runs the neighbourhood of Harlem, the story follows his continued alliance with Muslim minister Malcolm X and the deals he strikes with various foreign gangs in order to preserve his stronghold in the criminal underworld. With pressure to regain control of his neighbourhood and repay a mounting drug debt to the Italian Mafia helmed by Joe Colombo (Michael Raymond-Jamesn), he starts to move further afield to form a new allegiance with a Cuban crime boss called Joseph Battle (Yul Vazquez).
The new series includes real footage of the political tension amidst the Harlem riots of 1964 and notes President Lyndon Johnson finally signing the civil rights bill into law, which gives the show historical layers. Full-throttle and violent, volatile tempers are balanced with threads of family and love, too.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking to screenwriter and director Brancato about working with such a brilliant ensemble cast, including a host of newcomers to the third series such as Whoopie Goldberg, and bringing strong and independent women into the story.
Godfather of Harlem season three is released on 6th October 2023.
Watch the trailer for Godfather of Harlem season three here: