Michael Raymond-James, Dean Norris Among History's Sons of Liberty

Sons of Liberty Cast History

History has revealed the cast for Sons of Liberty, a six-part miniseries that will follow a defiant and radical group of young men — Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Joseph Warren included – as they band together in secrecy to spark a revolution and make America a nation.

RELATED | History’s Vikings Renewed for Season 3

Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia), Henry Thomas (E.T.) and Michael Raymond-James (Once Upon a Time) will play Sam Adams, John Adams and Revere, respectively, while Rafe Spall (Prometheus) and Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist) will fill the roles of Hancock and Warren.

Additionally, Marton Csokas (Rogue) will play Thomas Gage, the British general who is sent to handle the unrest in Boston, while Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) has been cast as “the brilliant yet mischievous diplomat” Benjamin Franklin.

“From the Boston Tea Party to the Declaration of Independence, Sons of Liberty will tell the rebellious story of America’s greatest fight for freedom,” History EVP Dirk Hoogstra said in touting the miniseries, which begins production this summer.

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70 Comments
  1. Kari says:

    Do you think that the Sons of Liberty song from Johnny Tremain will be the theme song? I vote that it should be.

  2. nymeria says:

    great news! can’t wait to see Michael Raymond-James again on my screen

    • Paris says:

      Yeah because that Detroit accent is so 1775! OMG! Another spectacular casting failure. This might be even worse [but funnier] than his performance on OUAT. Thanks for the laugh.

      • Jake says:

        LOL – hopefully he’ll clean up a bit, unless he plays Revere as a scruff…

        • zumpie says:

          I told a friend about it yesterday and she asked if MRJ’s Paul Revere will sit around, looking toasted and saying, “hey man, like some dudes are gonna be here soon…..got any munchies?”

      • jerrired says:

        Did you even see him on True Blood where he did a completely different accent? And the casting for this mini-series is pretty good. I’m sure the casting people know what they’re doing, so this “casting failure” will probably turn into a great series. I for one am really looking forward to it because I’m familiar with most of the cast. Thanks for having an open mind-note sarcasm.

      • zumpie says:

        Let’s hope his colonial New England accent slips a bit less often than his Cajun one did!

        • andreina says:

          correct me if i’m wrong but, in true blood, wasn’t he playing a guy that was faking being cajun? and still his accent was awesome

          • zumpie says:

            I didn’t watch that much, but I did watch enough to see his accent slipping left and right (so even if he was meant to have a fake accent, the other characters would’ve noticed), so no, I wouldn’t call it “awesome”. Kinda weak, from what I saw.

      • stephanie says:

        i understand you don’t like a character, but hating on the actor just because of that? he is already out of OUAT (thank god) and i thought this stupidity would end now that he won’t be in it anymore, if you can’t separate character from actor and hate them both, why bother on going to an article that have news about him getting a new job totally not related to the other show and feel the need to comment just to mock him and his work?

      • Crysania says:

        Is it possible to be any less mature? He’s gone off OUAT. Clearly you’re thrilled. That’s fine. But can’t you just be happy that an actor got another job?

        • zumpie says:

          Why should she care either way? Plus the accent is a valid issue. Especially in a period piece

          • Crysania says:

            It’s called ACTING. Amazing how actors sometimes have different accents depending on what role their playing. You Neal haters are just amazing. He’s off OUAT. You got what you wanted. Congrats. Now why not stop being such nasty haters and leave the guy alone?

          • zumpie says:

            Except as noted above, his Cajun accent on True Blood was simply dreadful and slipped continuously. Has nothing to do with his weak efforts on Once, I haven’t seen all that much that he’s done that’s impressed me. It IS possible to think both a character AND an actor are less than great. And talk about it in a forum specifically for such comments. Why does it upset you so much?

            From what I understand his best work was on Terriers (and L&O SVU, as a snitch), where he played someone modern (and shady). My point is, some actors are well suited to period pieces, are versatile and can VERY effectively mask accents (Michiel Huisman is an excellent example), some can’t. Thus it’s simply less than effective casting is her (and my) point.

            That said, you never know, I’ve also seen really weak actors turn in quite good performances in roles I thought couldn’t be more poorly suited. So we’ll see. Though, again, if it’s meant to equal or surpass The Hatfields and the McCoys, it already needn’t do a whole lot.

  3. HeatherC says:

    This sounds fascinating and I’m glad to hear more about MRJ’s next project! I miss him from my TV so I’m happy that he’ll back on it again at some point for this miniseries. It sounds awesome, also has a really great cast, and I can’t wait to see it! =)

  4. Mel says:

    I’ll watch this for Michael Raymond-James!

  5. JWB says:

    It won’t be as good as HBO’s John Adams.Paul Giamatti,Tom Wilkinson, and Stephen Dillane were brilliant in that mini-series. Danny Huston’s performance as Samuel Adams was good but his role was limited.

    I enjoy AMC’s turn and movies about the American Revolution(The Patriot) but the American public seems disinterested. It will be interesting to see how this does in the ratings.

  6. Alice says:

    Yes! More Michael Raymond-James on my TV! He better be telling people that “The regulars” are coming, or Ichabod Crane is going to have a fit. :)

    • herman1959 says:

      HA HA! But seriously, I think HBO should thank the producers of Sleepy Hollow for making a lot more people aware of and interested in the details.

  7. dioxinblues says:

    Lotta dudes. Always a lotta dudes.

  8. A says:

    Sounds awesome. Can’t wait

  9. meresger says:

    Glad MRJ has a new project. He got shafted on OUAT.

    • Alice says:

      That he was. Thrilled to see him in another project. Haven’t watched OUAT since he left and honestly don’t miss it.

      • A.B. says:

        Same here. I had all of the second half sitting on my DVR because I knew that he was going to get killed so I let them all record and watch them as a mini marathon. Once I knew how he was killed it just soured the whole show for me. I deleted them and took the show off series record. Don’t miss it. He is a talented actor and IMO he was shafted but as a professional I don’t see him saying anything other then it was planned and everything was amicable. That’s ok because now he is off to bigger and better things.

    • Gilly says:

      Lol, he didnt – his character died, coz he was meant to – which was him using dark magic, and selfish reason, He was a plot device since he came on, for his dad and his ex Emma! He didnt do much anyway! Glad Neal went, boring character and actor!

      • Maddie says:

        He was not meant to die, the only reason he did was so captainswan can be canon. Also he didn’t use dark magic for selfish reasons, he did it I save his father, and then he died to save everyone. Plot device, no not really, maybe in S3 only cause he got shafted and they tried to push CS into the spotlight.

        So glad he’s got a new project! He deserves better!

        • zumpie says:

          Even MRJ has interviewed that Bagel was planned to die all along, in fact his death was foreshadowed in season 1. However, I still suspect his dissatisfaction moved the timeline up a bit. And it’s already been repeatedly stated, CS was planned all along, would’ve happened regardless (JMo suffered a lot of hate today for saying BagelSwan was NOT going to happen).

          Actually, he only wanted his father back so he could rejoin his son, which WAS selfish (though understandable) and he very foolishly went ahead, even after being told it was trap. This resulted in empowering Witchee and enslaving his father BTW. And he’s dead, so it’s all pretty much immaterial. He was always a plot contrivance. Possibly more so in season 2 than in season 3, tbh

          • Maddie says:

            You do know he was probably paid to say that? A&E are known liars, they have lied many times to their fans. I don’t see any foreshadowing that Neal was meant to die in any of the episodes except the one he died in, but that’s *your* interpretation that you are free to have. If you chose to believe the writers words that Neal walls always meant to die, and CS was planned from the start, go right ahead. I chose not to believe them, because to me it sounds like huge blaring lies. I don’t like to think when they had Hook pin Emma down and make threatening comments, and shoving her hard into a wall, that they were saying “were gonna make them endgame, it’ll be so romantic!”
            But if you want to think that in won’t stop you lol. And before I get any “you’re just a bitter swanfire shipper” I shipped Neal with someone else, I didn’t pair him with Emma.

          • zumpie says:

            Oh but sending Emma to prison was TL, love was it? However, sorry, I’ll take A&E words over yours, because somehow I tend to think they know just a bit more about their show than you do. And whether you believe them or not is immaterial. Yours is the opinion of a viewer, they’re the actual creators, writers and producers of the show. Seriously, your entire post boils down to “it is so because I want it to be and say it is!”

          • Maddie says:

            To zumpie: I’ll take a man who put me on my path to my destiny over a man who physically hurt me and threatened me. Maybe you wouldn’t do the same, but I’ve been around enough abuse to know I would stay far far away from a man like Hook. But as I said, I didn’t ship SF, I will agree with you that I don’t think it was very healthy, I think until Hook came on it had a good shot at being canon or a Brotp, idk I don’t really care. Anyways, sure go ahead! Take A&Es word for it, just know they have lied many times to their fans, they go back on their own words and their own writing even. Truly legends. I don’t know what goes on in the writers room, so maybe Neal dying is one of their few truths, but we will never really know, and quite frankly I don’t really need to because I’m just happy MRJ can be a part of a show where his talents will be appreciated. He will fit right in with this cast and I’m sure he will do great! I hope he enjoys his new project

          • jennifer says:

            Oh so you believe Adam when he says cs was planned all along but don’t believe him when he says neal DIDN’T SENT EMMA TO JAIL?
            Good to know

          • Maddie says:

            Matt how do I unsubscribe from here? This website is very confusing to me…

          • zumpie says:

            Except we saw, onscreen, that Bagel helped send Emma to prison (“no, it’s good, we talked about this, remember?”). And obviously someone had to tell August where she’d be, only two people knew and I’m sure Emma didn’t rat herself out. Adam actually said Bagel didn’t make the call, I don’t believe he’d be able to deny his complicity, since, again, it was on the show. To say nothing of Bagel’s complicity in the above referenced scene, when he still could’ve exonerated Emma.

            However, regarding story arcs, planning, etc….yes, I’ll take the word of the creators over an anonymous fangirl online. I’m just funny that way.

          • Maddie says:

            A fangirl? I’m hardly a fangirl, I like MRJ and his work, I shipped a few small ships on OUAT, I’d hardly call myself a fangirl. Either way, I never said I knew more about OUAT than the writers. But I do know when something is fishy, and I do know that the writers lie very often about their own words and writing, I don’t think CS is meant to be endgame due to many conflicting things that A&E have written themselves, but oh well they’ve decided to make it canon for however long they want, and although I think it’s extremely unhealthy and it makes me uncomfortable and baffled, all I really care is that MRJ is free to move on to better things, I prefer him
            In meatier roles anyways.

          • zumpie says:

            Well YOU might not, but I would…..meanwhile, yes, CS is clearly endgame. It’s been broadcast since Tallahassee (but I bet you never thought Bagel was gonna die, right?). That you don’t like it is immaterial. And by “fishy” I suspect you mean, “didn’t work out the way you wanted?”. BTW, A&E don’t lie…they do deflect and demur…and absolutely are trolling trolls who to love to troll the fandom, but that isn’t lying, it’s revealing the show and the spoilers as they see fit. And amusing themselves in the process

            And again, they know their show better than you do.

          • Maddie says:

            Haha! A&E DO lie actually. They have said many things and written many things that thy have gone back on. And yeah I didn’t think Neal was gonna die, I don’t believe he was meant to, i think they are lying again when they say it was planned from the start. If you think they are telling the truth good for you. Also, just because I disagree with something, doesn’t mean it’s because things didn’t go my way. I disagree with CS because it triggers me and makes me uncomfortable. I would have had no problems with CS if Hook hadn’t abused women so much. If there was no women abuse, I wouldn’t care if the ship ended up canon. As I said, I wasn’t a Swanfire shipper, I shipped Neal with other people soooo yeah, not bitter cuz my ship didn’t happen. Also, in eps tallahasse and up, when Hook was pinning Emma down and making threatening comments, and physically hurting her, verbally taunting her and calling her awful things, that these were steps to a healthy romantic relationship? I didn’t know that a man who hit you can be a romangic possibility, I’ll call up my ex boyfriend now, he’ll be glad to know I forgive him. I don’t think SF was healthy either, but I also don’t think Neal was meant to die nor do I think his death was fair. I think Regina, Emma, and Neal, and there respective partners were meant to co-parent Henry. Also you have no idea if CS is set in stone or not, is it canon now? Yes but anything could happen, it’s not a 100% guarantee thing, and that’s not me being bitter, I’m just saying you can’t see into the future, you don’t know what will happen. A curve ball could be thrown at anytime. Anywho, you seem to have everything going for you, your ship is canon, your fav character is loved, your gates character is gone, enjoy those positive things you have, it’s much better than surrounding yourself with negativity. I’m not saying you aren’t free to hate Neal/SF/MRJ or anything, but if I were you’d id focus on all the positive things happening instead of trudging up negative stuff.

          • zumpie says:

            As opposed to sending her to prison, behaving as if he were entitled to her, manipulating her and being her (per Oregon law) statutory rapist? And blackmailing her into a first date?

            BTW, all of this was done while Hook and Emma were on opposite sides AND she gave as good as she got. As a feminist, I don’t buy into “can’t hit a girl, but she can hit you” philosophy (because it’s sexist). Emma doesn’t have any issues with it. I could go on about other issues along these lines, but I won’t. If you’re hinting at domestic violence, though, Rumbelle’s a lot more indicative of that—in fact murdering your first wife because your ego couldn’t handle her leaving you IS domestic violence.

            Actually, when did Hook do any of those things in Tallahassee? Seriously, you watch an entirely different show than I do…

            I know CS is endgame, much the same way I knew Bagel was gonna die in early 3A: I’ve watched TV, seen movies and read books before. These things are generally pretty obvious and easy to follow.

          • Maddie says:

            Hook is the one who feels he is entitled to Emma. He pestered her about “choosing someone.” He said her love was a prize to be won, he wanted her to kiss him as a reward, it’s like Emma is just a prize to him. Neal is the one who said Emma didn’t owe him anything, he have her space and said Henry was the most important thing, he didn’t try to kiss her when she rescued him, he gave her a hug because she was upset, and when he did good things for her, he didn’t ask for a reward. I’d rather have a man who put me on my path to destiny than a man who physically hurt me and threatened me. Also, yes I’m aware that they were on opposing sides, but Emma butted heads with him because he was standing in her way if getting back to Henry. I am under the belief that a mother can fight and claw and screw anybody over if that means to save her babies. Hook was shady, he lied to her, he was working with Cora, so she fought back. I agreed with her fighting back against Hook because she just wanted to get back to her baby and make sure he was safe. In Hooks mind, yes doing horrible things to Emma made sense because she betrayed him made sense, but to me, as a viewer who was rooting for the mama bear to fight the baddie standing in her way, I felt like Emma had good reason to betray Hook and I didn’t like what happened to her, a mother trying to save her baby doesn’t deserve to screwed over because of it IMO. And you don’t know that CS is endgame, ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN, you can’t see the future. I have read book, watched tv, and movies too. Usually the heroine doesn’t end up with a man who has forced her into submission and hurt her and threatened her, and usually the father who was a hero and put others before himself and risked his life for loved ones, usually gets some sort of happy ending. You apparently very caught up in this silly, unhealthy ship, it seems to be very important to you, so important that you have to hound pro-Neal/SF/MRJ stuff and can’t grasp the fact that maybe, just maybe, Hook is not a very great guy, and CS is not very romantic or healthy. I don’t think SF is very healthy either, I didn’t ship it, and no I didn’t ship SQ either, all 3 of those ships have their flaws and I’m unbiased enough to point out all their pros and cons. Oh and i forgot to mention, I didn’t say those things happened in tallahasse I said eps tallahasse and up. I don’t remember the specific episode names that hook did those horrible things to Emma, I just know they happened somehwere after Tallhasse. Captainswan and anti-swanfire seem to be very important things in your life, and while I think that’s very silly, I wish you the best of luck in your pro-CS/Hook campaign, I just hope that you and others in this campaign will grow bored of spreading negativity surrounding MRJ and anything he’s involved in, because he’s the real person in this scenario.

          • zumpie says:

            Whatever, Bagel’s dead and was a jerk. CS is endgame. Time to get over it

          • Maddie says:

            Haha! Neal was not a jerk, he was very nice and kind. Hook is a jerk, he hurt innocnet people and tried to kill them, and objectifies women. Also like I said, it’s canon for now. You don’t need to get so upset, it’s just a tv show. Neal is dead, but anything could happen, a curve ball can be thrown. It’s funny that you keep throwing around “CS is canon and Neal is dead hahah” as if that’s supposed to shut me up or something. Quite frankly, no I will not get over it, but I’m not going to obsess over it like you, because my favorite actor has moved on to better things! You are a sad strange little person, and you have my pity.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            There was no “dissatisfaction,” please cease spreading misinformation. Thank you.

  10. Yeahman says:

    Isn’t Henry Thomas that kid from ET?

  11. bj says:

    I’m happy to see Ryan Eggold back again too. I liked him in the Blacklist.

  12. Heidi says:

    Here’s hoping they stick to fact and not revisionist history. This is a great line-up of gifted actors!

  13. Joey says:

    As long as Michael Raymond-James’ character doesn’t get killed off because 12 year old girls would rather see a love interest named Emma with someone else…

    • Gilly says:

      Someone who feels the need to say something stupid as always, then actually be happy for the actor lol… and im saying this who didnt even like Neal and felt he was meant to die. Talk about being a 12 yr old, you sound like one lol

      • Joey says:

        Go ship Captain Swan elsewhere. It isn’t needed here.

        • Margaery says:

          Amen

        • Brigid says:

          You sound like a 12 year old girl Joey. If the show isn’t going the way you want, than by all means, write your own. Go ship Neal elsewhere, it isn’t needed here in an article NOT about OUAT.

          • Maddie says:

            I hate the “don’t like don’t watch” argument, it’s not that they killed Neal that made everyone mad, it’s the message it sent. He was a good person who was pure and selfless, and all he wanted was family. NOPE LOL he gets to die while abusers get their second chance at happiness.

        • Gilly says:

          Is that what you got out of that comment lol

  14. tonichelle says:

    Excited for both Michael and Ryan to be on this series. Two fantastic actors that I will miss from the shows they were just killed off of! At least this time we know the outcome of their characters! ha ha!

  15. Joey Padron says:

    Great casting for mini series. Can’t wait to check it out when it premieres.

  16. RP says:

    MRJ will be awesome, so glad to see him on the small screen again. Hopefully he would treated with way much more respect in this new project! #TheBritishAreComing #SonsofLiberty

  17. Liza says:

    Love MRJ!!!!!

  18. Michelle says:

    I hope MRJ has brushed up on his horse riding skills. One if by land, two if by sea, people! ;)

  19. Wtactualf says:

    That sounds pretty awesome. I love that the History Channel is starting to create some really fantastic scripted shows like Vikings. Plus I really like Michael Raymond James.

  20. As a OUAT fan, I’m so glad that Michael Raymond-James got this role. He deserves to be recognized for his talent. True OUAT fans support the actors.

    • zumpie says:

      Has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of other actors on OUaT that I don’t think are especially good and I’ll freely say as much. Acting is their job, why should I turn a blind eye to someone’s acting I find unimpressive? Under your logic, I have to like every project every actor on the show is in? Just doesn’t work that way

      • stephanie says:

        Maybe is just me, but when I don’t like an actor I ignore all news about him/her and if is in a project with an actor i like I just ignore it too I read what interest me I read about the actor I like and that’s it

  21. Danelle says:

    I think it is horrible you all just can’t be nice! I think it is wonderful he got a new show! I may have preferred Captain Swan but I thought Neal was cool too. I would never insult an actor. If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all!

    • zumpie says:

      There’s nothing wrong with criticizing an actor’s performance or giving your opinion of their acting skills or the producers’ casting choices. I’m a bit mystified as to why you think there is. It’s precisely what the comment section is for

  22. Leo says:

    Good for MRJ, OUAT didn’t give justice to the character he was playing. I was not fan of his character but I liked very what I see in his interactions with Carlyle. God to hear that he has a new project with interesting people, I gonna give the chance to this for him.

  23. Me says:

    As a BB and OUAT fan I am definitely excited for Dean Norris and Michael Raymond James. MRJ definitely has that Detroit swag that works better for some roles than it does for others. However I believe he has the acting chops to pull off this period piece. Hell anything is better than playing Wonder Kid’s dad ;)

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