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Watch: Full trailer for Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us

Updated 20-04-19 | 08:30 AM | Staff Reporter

Reading time: 10 mins

“Is my mum here?” “It’s just us. You and us.” That’s the sound of a police investigation going notoriously wrong in the full trailer for Netflix’s When They See Us.

Based on a true story that gripped the USA, the series chronicles the case of the Central Park Five, five teenagers of color who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four-part limited series will focus on the teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

The series is created by Ava DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh and Robert De Niro from Tribeca Productions executive produce the series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Forward Movement. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, and Michael Starrburry also serve as writers.

It stars Emmy Award Nominee Michael K. Williams, Academy Award Nominee Vera Farmiga, Emmy Award Winner John Leguizamo, Academy Award Nominee and Emmy Award Winner Felicity Huffman, Emmy Award Nominee Niecy Nash, Emmy Award Winner and two-time Golden Globe Nominee Blair Underwood, Emmy Award and Grammy Award Winner and Tony Award Nominee Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, Dascha Polanco, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

When They See Us premieres on Netflix on Friday 31st May. Here’s the new video:

First look: Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us set for May release

2nd March 2019

Ava DuVernay will make the world fully see the Central Park Five this May, when her new series debuts on Netflix.

Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of colour, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four-part drama will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

DuVernayso co-wrote and directed the four parts, while also exec-producing 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. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, and Michael Starrburry also serve as writers on the series.

In front of the camera are Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.

The series will premiere on Friday 31st May. Here’s the first trailer:

Joshua Jackson joins Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five

31st August 2019

Joshua Jackson has joined the cast for Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series Central Park Five.

The drama is based on the real life case involving the assault and rape of a female jogger, Trisha Meili, in Central Park in 1989. Five suspects were wrongly convicted for the attack, with each of the series’ five parts to focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

The series has lined up an increasingly impressive ensemble of talent, with the latest being The Affair’s Joshua Jackson, Hamilton’s Christopher Jackson and 12 Years A Slave’s Adepero Oduye.

Jackson will play McCray’s lawyer, Mickey Joseph, Jackson will play Santana’s attorney, Peter Rivera, and Oduye will play Harlem activist Nomsa Brath. Queen Sugar’s Omar Dorsey will play her husband, Elombe Brath. Famke Janssen has also joined the cast as prosecutor Nancy Ryan.

The casting news was broken by Deadline, also reporting that Power‘s William Sadler and Into The Dark‘s Aurora Perrineau have joined the line-up, as a NYPD detective and the girlfriend of the Freddy Miyares respectively.

A Wrinkle in Time’s Storm Reid joins Central Park Five

5th August 2018

A Wrinkle in Time star Storm Reid is reuniting with director Ava DuVernay for her new Netflix series, Central Park Five.

The drama is based on the real life case involving the assault and rape of a female jogger, Trisha Meili, in Central Park in 1989. Five suspects were wrongly convicted for the attack, with each of the series’ five parts to focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

Jovan Adepo, of Fences and The Leftovers, will play McCray, who was released after serving six years in prison. Jharrel Jerome, who impressed in Moonlight, will play Wise, who served 12 years before being released. They’re joined by Felicity Huffman, of Desperate Housewives, as Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor who led the Manhattan’s DA office during the case.

Now, DuVernay is rounding out her cast with a wave of impressive female talent.

Reid, who impressed as lead Meg Murry in DuVernay’s landmark blockbuster, Lisa, a friend of Korey Wise. She’ll be joined by Niecy Nash, who has appeared in Scream Queens and stars in TNT’s Claws, as Korey’s mother, Delores. Fresh from Game Night, Kylie Bunbury, who was also in Under the Dome, will play Angie Richardson, sister of Kevin Richardson. Quantico and Designated Survivor’s Aunjanue Ellis (soon to be seen in If Beale Street Could Talk) will play Sharone Salaam, mother of Yusef Salaam. Marsha Stephanie Blake, who will be recognised by fans of Crown Heights, Orange Is the New Black and The Good Wife, will play Linda McCray, mother of Antron McCray.

Other cast members include Michael K. Williams, fresh from Hap and Leonard, as Bobby McCray, the father of Antron, Bloodline star John Leguizamo as Raymond Santana Sr., father of another one of the falsely accused, and Bates Motel veteran Vera Farmiga as Manhattan Assistant D.A. Elizabeth Lederer.

The series will be released by Netflix in 2019.

Felicity Huffman leads new cast additions on Netflix’s Central Park Five

26th July 2018

Felicity Huffman is leading a trio of new additions to Ava DuVernay’s Central Park Five.

The Netflix series is based on the real life case involving the assault and rape of a female jogger, Trisha Meili, in Central Park in 1989. Five suspects were wrongly convicted for the attack, with each of the series’ five parts to focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise.

Jovan Adepo, of Fences and The Leftovers, will play McCray, who was released after serving six years in prison. Jharrel Jerome, who impressed in Moonlight, will play Wise, who served 12 years before being released. They’re joined by Felicity Huffman, of Desperate Housewives, who will play Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor who led the Manhattan’s DA office during the case.

The series will span from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated, exposing the breakdown of the US criminal justice system at every stage of the case.

“Thrilled to announce our growing family of actors for #CentralParkFive,” tweeted DuverNay. “A warm welcome to the great Felicity Huffman, who I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. And two of the brightest young actors doing it: of FENCES + Jharrel Jerome of MOONLIGHT.”

The drama is currently in pre-production, with principal photography to start in early August.

Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga and John Leguizamo join Netflix’s Central Park Five

10th July 2018

Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga and John Leguizamo have joined Netflix’s Central Park Five.

The drama, directed by Ava DuBernay, is based on the real life case involving the assault and rape of a female jogger, Trisha Meili, in Central Park in 1989. Five suspects were wrongly convicted for the attack, with each of the series’ five parts to focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem – Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. The series will span from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated, exposing the breakdown of the US criminal justice system at every stage of the case.

With its important subject matter and DuVernay at the helm – reuniting with Netflix, following 13th – the series was already shaping up to be one of 2019’s most anticipated series. Now, the addition of three major stars to the cast only adds to the project’s clout.

Michael K. Williams, fresh from Hap and Leonard, will play Bobby McCray, the father of Antron, while Bloodline star John Leguizamo will play Raymond Santana Sr., father of another one of the falsely accused. Bates Motel veteran Vera Farmiga will play Manhattan Assistant D.A. Elizabeth Lederer, who led the prosecution in the cases.

The drama is currently in pre-production, with principal photography to start in early August. DuVernay, who co-wrote each episode with Robin Swicord, Attica Locke and Michael Starrbury, will direct the whole series.

Ava DuVernay to make Central Park Five series for Netflix

6th July 2017

Ava DuVernay is reuniting with Netflix to make a new dramatic series based on the case of the Central Park Five.

The case involved the assault and rape of a female jogger, Trisha Meili, in Central Park in 1989, with five suspects wrongly convicted for the attack.

The series will be a five-episode limited, scripted series that exposes the breakdown of the US criminal justice system at every stage of the case. Each part will focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. The series will span 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.

DuVernay will write and direct and the series, which will be executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Films, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions, as well as DuVernay.

“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,” said DuVernay in a statement announcing the project. “The story of the men known as 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.”

“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,” added Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “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.”

Participant Media’s Jonathan King added, The events of this shocking story continue to resonate today, and

“The way Ava has chosen to focus intimately on the five young men foregrounds the human costs of this kind of tragedy,” commented King, who praised Ava as a “uniquely tenacious and inspiring artist”.

“It’s an honour to be partnering again,” he said.

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