“The Great Escape: Andre Holland Stars as Huey P. Newton in ‘The Big Cigar’ on Apple TV+”

Attention all true-crime and historical drama enthusiasts: Apple TV+ is set to ignite screens with the premiere of its latest limited series, “The Big Cigar,” on May 17, taking viewers on a thrilling ride through a pivotal moment in civil rights history. The six-episode drama serves as a time capsule to the late 1960s, spotlighting the audacious escape of Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton to Cuba, as the FBI’s net of surveillance tightens around him.

In a groundbreaking story of bravery and clever deception, Newton finds an unlikely ally in Hollywood producer Bert Schneider. Together, they devise an ingenious plan to use a fictitious movie production as a cover for Newton’s flight to freedom. This compelling narrative of bold determination and radical spirit is brilliantly translated on screen by NAACP Image Award-winner Janine Sherman Barrois alongside Jim Hecht, who penned the script for the eye-opening first episode, and Joshuah Bearman, the mastermind behind the acclaimed magazine article that inspired the series.

Directed and executive produced by the multi-talented Don Cheadle, “The Big Cigar” boasts a sensational performance by André Holland, whose portrayal as Newton captures the revolutionary leader’s essence with a potent mix of intensity and vulnerability. Holland, celebrated for his role in the 2016 Best Picture winner “Moonlight,” is joined by a stellar ensemble cast that includes Alessandro Nivola, known for his diverse filmography, and Tiffany Boone, who adds her own layer of depth to the already dynamic cast.

The series unfolds Newton’s gripping saga with a flair that captures the essence of the era—one of turmoil and transformation. It not only dives into the tactical evasion of government pursuit but also throws light on the camaraderie and solidarity that existed between Hollywood’s liberal echelons and the Black Panther Movement—a historical bond that is often glossed over but is poignantly portrayed in the show.

As Apple TV+ readies to exclusively broadcast “The Big Cigar” on May 17, viewers can anticipate rich, cinematic storytelling meshed with historical authenticity that serves as a testament to the unbreakable human spirit. Each subsequent episode is set to be released on Fridays, culminating on June 14, making it an event not to be missed.

The teaser alone, which showcases Holland in Newton’s iconic beret and powerful gaze, has already stirred social media buzz and heightened anticipation for what is expected to be a riveting retelling of an extraordinary chapter in American history.

“The Big Cigar” is not just a recount of historical events but a multi-layered exploration of characters caught in the unique crosshair of cultural revolution and political oppression. As it sets sail to captivate audiences, Apple TV+ continues its streak of delivering poignant, conversation-starting original content.

English television history has seen its fair share of adaptations and inspired series, but “The Big Cigar” promises to distinguish itself with its unflinching look into the complexities of a revolutionary figure’s fight for liberty against all odds. As May 17 approaches, the countdown begins for what is sure to be an enthralling addition to the roster of stellar Apple TV+ programming.

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