The story centers on a young slave named Henry "Onion" Shackleford (Jaden Smith), who skips town with abolitionist John Brown (Liev Schreiber). Onion travels the nation with Brown, who believes the slave is actually a girl, and his crew of freedom fighters, meeting historical figures such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas on the way to the brutal Harper's Ferry raid that helped set the stage for the Civil War. The book was published last year and was a New York Times Best-Seller, en route to winning a National Book Award. The story is told from a satirical point of view, drawing comparison's to Mark Twain's classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Jaden Smith most recently starred in After Earth, and he is also returning for the sequel The Karate Kid 2. Liev Schreiber is coming off a Golden Globe nomination for playing the title character in Showtime's Ray Donovan, and he will next be seen in Fading Gigolo.