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Home / News / Ava DuVernay’s ‘Central Park Five’ Crime Drama Unveils Its Leading Men

Ava DuVernay’s ‘Central Park Five’ Crime Drama Unveils Its Leading Men

From left; Chris Chalk, Fredy Miyares and Justin Cunningham

Chris Chalk (Gotham) will play Adult Yusef Salaam; Newcomers Freddy Miyares and Justin Cunningham will play Adult Raymond Santana and Adult Kevin Richardson, respectively.  Together, they will star alongside previously announced Jharrel Jerome and Jovan Adepo (Adult Antron McCray) as the adult men in the Central Park Five case.  Jerome will portray Adult Korey Wise in addition to Young Korey Wise.

 From left; Ethan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez, Caleel Harris and Asante Blackk

Ethan Herisse (Miss Virginia) will play Young Yusef Salaam; Marquis Rodriguez (Chicago Fire) will play Young Raymond Santana, Jr.; Caleel Harris (Goosebumps 2) will play Young Antron McCray; Asante Blackk will play Young Kevin Richardson. Together with Jerome, they will portray the young teenagers wrongfully accused in 1989.

Filming on Central Park Five (working title) began this week in New York City.  The limited series will be released on Netflix in 2019.

Synopsis: Based on a true story that gripped the country, the limited series will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four episode limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. 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.

It was previously announced that Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake and Storm Reid joined the cast. 

Created by Ava DuVernay, who will write and direct, the narrative series will be four episodes.  Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions will executive produce the limited series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Forward Movement.

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About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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