Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) will assist Eugene Lee in bringing his Pulitzer nominated play, East Texas Hot Links, to the big screen. Jackson will serve as an executive producer for the project, which is being financed through Night Fox Entertainment, while Lee is slated to mark his first feature film directorial effort.
East Texas Hot Links – set during the segregation era in East Texas – was a one act, ninety minute play taking place in a “colored only” bar, and centered during a single night, after an act of betrayal changes the lives of those in a small black community. The play originally debuted in 1991 in Los Angeles, with a heralded performance from Loretta Divine (Welcome to Me). Jackson and Lee have worked together in the past, as both starred in 1981’s off-Broadway and Pulitzer winning production A Soldier’s Play. The production also starred a young Denzel Washington (The Equalizer). Lee has an extensive history on Broadway, working in acting, writing and directing capacities in numerous theater productions, but the playwright also has taken some bit parts in feature films, including 2005’s Coach Carter which starred Jackson.
For Jackson, who has a long Broadway history himself, East Texas Hot Links will be part of the actor’s effort to springboard the 90s play into a successful film adaptation. In 2011, Jackson starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones (The Homesman) in The Sunset Limited, an HBO film which was an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy play that debuted at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Jackson continues to have strong ties to the theater world, having recently starred as Dr. Martin Luther King in the Broadway production The Mountaintop. Still, the actor nowadays is most often found on the silver screen. Known as one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, Jackson’s upcoming line-up of work only seems to reinforce his workmanlike approach to his craft. Jackson is slated to appear in Chi-Raq, The Hateful Eight, The Blob, Cell, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Tarzan, and Kong: Skull Island.
Filming for East Texas Hot Links is slated for spring of 2016.