Famke Janssen and more join Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five miniseries
Ava DuVernay’s upcoming limited series based on the Central Park Five case has just expanded its cast with the addition of Famke Janssen, Joshua Jackson (The Affair), Christopher Jackson (Bull, Hamilton), Blair Underwood (In Treatment, Quantico), Omar Dorsey (Queen Sugar, Selma), Adepero Oduye (12 Years A Slave, Pariah), and Aurora Perrineau (Into the Dark).
The new additions will take on the roles of various lawyers and community leaders within the story with Janssen set to play Nancy Ryan, a Manhattan prosecutor who led the reinvestigation of the Central Park Five case; Aurora Perrineau playing Tanya, the girlfriend of Raymond Santana, Jr. after he was released from prison; and William Sadler (Power) as Michael Sheehan, a New York City detective.
Based on a true story that gripped the country, the limited series will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise. The limited series will spam from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with the city of New York.
Chris Chalk (Gotham) will play adult Yuself Salaam, with newcomers Freddy Miyares and Justin Cunningham playing adult Raymond Santana and adult Kevin Richardson, respectively. They will star alongside previously announced Jharrel Jerome and Joven Adepo, who is playing adult Antron McCray, as the older versions of the men in the Central Park Five case. Jerome will portray the adult version of Korey Wise in addition to young Korey Wise.
Ethan Herisse (Miss Virginia) will play the young Yusef Salaam with Marquis Rodriguez (Chicago Fire) portraying young Raymond Santana, Jr. Caleel Harris (Goosebumps 2) will play young Antron McCray, and Asante Black will play young Kevin Richardson. Together with Jerome, they will portray the young teenagers wrongfully accused in 1989.
It was previously announced that Michael K. Williams (Hap and Leonard), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring 2), John Leguizamo (John Wick: Chapter 2), Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight), Jovan Adepo (The Leftovers), Niecy Nash (Claws), Aunjanue Ellis (The Birth of a Nation), Kylie Bunbury (Pitch), Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange is the New Black) and Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time) joined the cast.
DuVernary will executive producer through her banner Forward Movement, alongside Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions.
Filming on the limited series began this week in New York City. It will be released on Netflix in 2019.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)