After scoring an Oscar nomination for her documentary feature 13TH, Ava DuVernay (with Participant Media, Harpo Films and Tribeca Productions) will re-team with Netflix for a five-part series on the Central Park Five set to debut in 2019.
DuVernay will write and direct all episodes of the narrative drama, which focuses on the 1989 case in which five black teenagers (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise) were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park. The case earned nationwide attention. The series will cover the time between the spring of 1989 to 2014 when they were finally exonerated by the city of New York. The series 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, and DuVernay.
“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,” said 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, “It’s an honor to be partnering again with Ava, a uniquely tenacious and inspiring artist. 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. We are looking forward to working with Netflix, Tribeca and Harpo on Participant’s first scripted episodic series.”
Based on the true story that gripped New York and the world, the series will be a five-episode limited, scripted series that exposes the breakdown of our criminal justice system at every phase of the notorious Central Park Five case. Each part will focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise — wrongly convicted of raping Trisha Meili in Central Park. 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.