Author Richard Wright’s Native Son gets reset in modern times with HBO’s film adaptation, but its haunting themes remain the same.
In EW’s exclusive clip from director Rashid Johnson’s version, protagonist Bigger Thomas (Moonlight‘s Ashton Sanders), a young black Chicago man hired as the driver for an affluent businessman, is reminded of his current reality.
While sitting on the beach with girlfriend Bessie (If Beale Street Could Talk‘s KiKi Layne), a conversation with Mary (The Leftovers‘ Margaret Qualley), the businessman’s daughter, about orchestra tickets soon highlights the class and racial divide.
“Where do you spend your summer, Big?” Mary asks.
“I summer where I winter,” he says.
What was intended as a light crack at Mary’s summer travels prompts a passive retaliation. “I didn’t want to assume,” she says. “That’s worse, right?”
Penned by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog), Native Son forces Biggie to navigate this world of money and privilege, thrusting him toward the same tragic, life-altering moment from Wright’s novel.
David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids), Sanaa Lathan (The Affair), Nick Robinson (Love, Simon), Bill Camp (The Night Of), and Elizabeth Marvel (Homeland) also star in the film, which premieres Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.
Watch the clip above.
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Native Son (2019 movie)