Angela Bassett (Black Panther), Alicia Garza (Black Futures Lab), Joe Morton (Scandal), Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance (The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story), Pauletta Washington (Genius: Aretha), Susan Kelechi Watson (This Is Us), who also executive produces, and Oprah Winfrey (Wrinkle In Time) are the first to be cast in Between The World And Me, HBO’s adaptation of the critically praised stage show based on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ New York Times bestseller.
Originally adapted and staged by the Apollo Theater in 2018, the special will combine elements of that production, including readings from Coates’ book, and will once again be directed by award-winning director and Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes. It will also incorporate documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage, and animation.
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The book, which was first published in 2015 by One World, is written as a letter to Coates’ teenage son and recounts the author’s experiences growing up in Baltimore’s inner city and his growing fear of daily violence against the Black community. The narrative explores Coates’ notion that American society structurally supports white supremacy.
Forbes will executive produce with Coates, Watson and Roger Ross Williams.
The special, which is currently in production under COVID-19 guidelines, debuts this fall on HBO and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.
Additional cast will be announced.
Bassett is represented by The Gersh Agency, Lighthouse Entertainment and Fox Rothschild. Garza is represented by ICM.
Morton is represented by Vanguard Management Group and TalentWorks. Trotter is represented by Sweet 180, Maverick and the Law Office of Brad Rubens, Esq. Vance is represented by WME and Fox Rothschild. Washington is represented by WME. Rashad is represented by BKEntertainment, and Innovative Artists. Watson is represented by Authentic Talent and Literary Management, United Talent Agency and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein Winfrey is represented by Ziffren Brittenham.