Ava DuVernay and Netflix are teaming up once again. The duo earned an Oscar nomination last year for the acclaimed documentary “13TH,” and now the director is set to write and direct a five-part miniseries for the streaming giant based on the historic case of The Central Park Five. Netflix is targeting a 2019 release date.
The Central Park Five was the name given to five young black men — Antron McCray, Korey Wis, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Yusef Salaam — who were wrongly convicted of raping 28-year-old Trisha Meili. The attack left the woman in a coma for 12 days. The five men weren’t proven innocent until 2014, when DNA evidence proved they were not responsible for the attack. The case was the subject of a 2012 Ken Burns documentary of the same name.
“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 said in an official statement. “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.”
DuVernay will serve as executive producer alongside Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Films and Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions. The series will be her first gig following post-production on Disney’s blockbuster “A Wrinkle in Time,” which is scheduled to open March 9, 2018. DuVernay is also the creator and executive producer of the OWN drama series “Queen Sugar,” which is currently airing its second season.