13th and Selma director Ava DuVernay will write and direct a five-episode series about the Central Park Five for Netflix. The drama is slated to drop in 2019, and will be DuVernay's second television project after OWN's Queen Sugar.
The Central Park Five was a group of five teenagers (Black and Latino) who were accused of assaulting and raping Trisha Meili, who was attacked while jogging through New York's historic park in 1989. Each spent between six and thirteen years in prison after an extremely racialized public trial before Matias Reyes came forward and confessed to being the sole attacker in 2002. Under Michael Bloomberg, New York City refused to settle with the group after they sued for their false imprisonment, until current mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to award them $41 million. Each episode will focus on one of the five and follow their story through their wrongful conviction, release and receipt of settlement.
This isn't the first time DuVernay and Netflix have made magic together. The filmmaker previously worked with streaming giant on the documentary 13th, which examined a similar theme of the racial history of the criminal justice system and the prison industrial complex. 13th was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature earlier this year.
"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," DuVernay told Rolling Stone. "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."
We can't wait!
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