Selma. 13th. Queen Sugar. Powerhouse filmmaker (and CASSIUS cover boss) Ava DuVernay has just announced her next opus: a five-part Netflix miniseries chronicling the case of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise—better known as the Central Park Five—who were all wrongly convicted of raping a white woman jogger in Central Park in 1989. The series will cover the story from 1989 to 2014, and includes Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Films in its roster of executive producers.
“I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on 13th and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there,” DuVernay told The Hollywood Reporter. “The story of the men known as the Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn — from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the president of the United States.”
The series comes at a pivotal time. As THR notes, President Trump, who spent thousands of dollars on ads calling for the state of New York to reinstate the death penalty, still believes the five men are guilty (a claim he’s reportedly made “as recently as 2016”), though DNA evidence has proven their innocence and resulted in their release in 2002.
“This is one of the most talked-about cases of our time, and Ava’s passionate vision and masterful direction will bring the human stories behind the headlines to life in this series,” Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP original content, told THR. “After powerfully reframing the public conversation about criminality and injustice in 13th, Ava now turns a new lens to a case that exposes deep flaws in our criminal justice system.”
A premiere date has yet to be announced, but you can catch season two of Queen Sugar airing now on OWN.