Ava DuVernay Brings the Story of The Central Park Five to Netflix

Ava DuVernay is teaming up with Netflix once again to bring us the story of The Central Park Five. Written and directed by DuVernay, the limited series will tell the story of the five young black men who were wrongly convicted of a violent rape that took place at Central Park during spring 1989.

The five episode series is set to be executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Films, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions, and DuVernay herself. This will be the latest collaboration from DuVernay and Winfrey – the two are responsible for OWN’s Queen Sugar and Oscar-winning film Selma. As for DuVernay, this will be her second project with the streaming service, after her Oscar-nominated documentary 13TH – which shed a light on racial inequality in America and the criminal justice system.

“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 is a 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.”

“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,” Cindy Holland, Vice president, Original Content for Netflix said. “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.”

Based on a true story, the scripted series will expose the breakdown of the criminal justice system at every phase of The Central Park Five case. Each part of the series will focus on one of the five young men – Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, who were wrongly convicted of raping Trisha Meili. According to press release, the series will span from spring 1989, when the teens were first questioned, to 2014, when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with the City of New York.

The series is slated for a 2019 debut.

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