If you’re not intrigued by the fact Ava DuVernay is making a limited series about the Central Park Five crime for Netflix, then how about the fact the A Wrinkle In Time director continues to populate her casts with promising talent. To be fair, DuVernay always has an eye for promising talent. This is no exception.
Central Park Five focuses on the stories of the five Harlem teenagers of color — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.
Huffman, who’s filming Netflix’s Otherhood with Angela Bassett and Patricia Arquette, will take the role of Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor who headed the Manhattan district attorney’s sex crimes office during the case. Jerome and Adepo will play two of the boys wrongfully convicted. Korey (Jerome) was charged as an adult and served 12 years in prison, while Antron served six years in New York state prison.
Jerome starred as teenage Kevin in Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning Moonlight and has since appeared on the Stephen King-based Mr. Mercedes series. Adepo made a scene-stealing turn as the on-screen son of Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in Fences, and appeared as Michael Murphy in HBO’s The Leftovers.
Already announced for Central Park Five, Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael K. Williams will play Antron’s father Bobby McCray, The Conjuring‘s Vera Farmiga will play Manhattan District Attorney Elizabeth Lederer, and John Wick‘s John Leguizamo will play Raymond’s father.
DuVernay is writing, directing, and executive producing the drama, which will encompass the time between the spring of 1989 when the boys were first questioned about the incident to 2014 when they were exonerated.
While the cast is still firming up, our guess is that President Trump will also play a part in this story. DuVernay has repeatedly called him out on social media for that time Trump took out full-page ads in New York City newspapers when the teens were under investigation. The captions read, “Bring Back the Death Penalty, Bring Back Our Police.”
This past April she tweeted at Trump with a quote from the real Raymond Santana: “You should have spoke like that back in 1989. You called for the death penalty. We were 14 & 15 years [sic] old kids.”
“We will tell the story,” she added. “You can’t hide.”
Central Park Five will debut sometime on Netflix in 2019.