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ABC Re-imagining 'Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn' As Detective Series; What Does This Mean For Jim?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 17, 2012 at 6:51PM

Hmmm... of course, my immediate thoughts went to all the criticims of the original novel's notions of race and identity, the character Jim (the good-hearted, moral slave, and Mark Twain's stereotypical depictions of him), its repeated use of the word "nigger," and more, labeling the novel racist; while on the other side, Twain scholars argue that the novel's protagonist, and the overall message of the book, is actually anti-racist.
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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Hmmm... of course, my immediate thoughts went to all the criticims of the original novel's notions of race and identity, the character Jim (the good-hearted, moral slave, and Mark Twain's stereotypical depictions of him), its repeated use of the word "nigger," and more, labeling the novel racist; while on the other side, Twain scholars argue that the novel's protagonist, and the overall message of the book, is actually anti-racist.

I think that's a debate that continues today.

So how exactly will all that translate (if at all) to an adventure-themed TV serial that imagines Huck and Tom as young men in their 20s, running an investigative firm in steampunk New Orleans? And will it satisfy critics of the source material, or take into account the controversy over whether Huckleberry Finn is racist or anti-racist? Will Jim be repped in the series, and if so how?

Sorry, but I don't have any answers for you... yet; I'm just giving you the information available. We'll just have to wait and see for ourselves.

It certainly won't be the first time Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn has been adapted for the screen (it's happened quite a few times since the book was published in the late 1800s - from musicals, to animations, feature films, stage, and more).

And also, as if another kind of adaptation, it's worth noting that tons of critical essays tackling its "race" matters have been written by numerous scholars.

THR reports that ABC is developing a series described as a contemporary take on Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, created by the team behind Detroit 1-8-7,  and described as "an adventure-themed reinvention that revolves around the two famed literary characters who re-meet as young men in their 20s and form an investigative firm in a bustling and steampunk New Orleans."

No word yet on when the series can be expected.

This article is related to: Television, TV News


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