Attention! Tony nominee David Alan Grier will star in and executive produce a limited series TV adaptation of the Tony-nominated A Soldier’s Play for Sony Pictures Television, according to Deadline. Grier, who was nominated for a Tony Award for playing Sergeant Vernon C. Waters, will play the character’s father in the limited series, which is to be titled A Soldier’s Story.
Charles Fuller’s Pulitze Prizer-winning A Soldier’s Play is set at a Black army base in 1944 segregated Louisiana. Sergeant Waters has been murdered, and Army captain Davenport (played by Tony nominee Blair Underwood on Broadway) arrives at the base to investigate the crime, which might or might not involve the local KKK or even the many Black soldiers who openly desplayed their hated for the sergeant.
The play first bowed off-Broadway at the Negro Ensemble Company in 1981 in a production that included Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. A Soldier’s Play made its long-awaited Broadway debut at the American Airlines Theatre in January 2020 and received seven Tony nominations, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for Underwood and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for Grier.
This marks the second screen adaptation of A Soldier’s Play. A 1984 film, also titled A Soldier’s Story, was directed by Norman Jewison and featured a screenplay by Fuller. It also starred Gier in a different role along with Adolph Caesar and Washington reprising their roles from the off-Broadway premiere. The movie was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay for Fuller and Best Supporting Actor for Caesar at the Academy Awards.
Learn more about the play’s 38-year journey to the Broadway stage here and watch Grier talk about the show’s importance below.