Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese is working with veteran actor Harry Belafonte to bring to the small screen a miniseries chronicling the atrocities of King Leopold II, the Belgian king from 1865 to 1909, who was responsible for the deaths and mutilations of millions of Congolese during Belgium’s occupation of the Congo.
Leopold, known as “The Butcher” of the Congo, became rich by enslaving Africans and exploiting their natural resources – specifically rubber – a commodity that was booming as Europe underwent the industrial revolution.
Belgium is one of the richest countries in the world and built its wealth with the lives and limbs of the people of the Congo, a nation rich in minerals that remains one of the poorest on the planet.
During his reign over Congo, The Butcher had approximately 10 million Congolese mutilated and massacred, cutting off their hands and genitals, starving them, burning their villages and ordering them beaten to death.
Deadline reports that Scorsese and Belafonte are currently gathering source material and interviewing writers. Scorsese is planning to direct the first episode, and then secure top names to direct the rest.