When Ray Liotta died last month in the Dominican Republic, the celebrated actor left behind several performances that will be released posthumously. One of the first of those roles is in the Apple TV+ drama, Black Bird, which premieres on the streaming service on July 8. A just-released trailer for the six-episode limited series spotlights the Goodfellas star's supporting turn as the father of real-life high school football star-turned-convict, Jimmy Keene, played by Taron Egerton. (Watch the trailer above.)
Adapted by celebrated crime novelist, Dennis Lehane, from Keene's own 2010 memoir, In With the Devil, Black Bird follows Jimmy as he wrestles with the dramatic turn his life has taken after he's sentenced to a prison stint for selling drugs. "I never wanted this for you," his doting father, "Big Jim" (Liotta), tells him during a visit. "I wanted a totally different life: a steady paycheck, kids, a family."
"Dad, tell me there's a way out of this," Keene responds, with obvious regret. "Not a quick one," his father replies with a sigh.
It turns out that there may be a way out for Jimmy ... but he's not going to like it. The FBI approaches him with an offer to be transferred to a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane with the intention of becoming buddies with Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser) — who they suspect of killing nearly twenty women.
"You want me to check into hell and befriend the demon?" he asks the agents incredulously. "Not for all the money in the world." But it turns out the feds have something better than money in mind as a reward. "How about freedom?"
While Black Bird isn't Liotta's final performance, it does mark his last appearance in a TV series. The actor had also completed filming the thriller, Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks, and Charlie Day's directorial debut, formerly titled El Tonto. Liotta was in the middle of shooting another movie, Dangerous Waters, when he died in his sleep at age 67.
Black Bird premieres July 8 on Apple TV+