Today Netflix revealed the first look at Emmy nominee Colman Domingo (Euphoria) as gay civil rights activist and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin. The film is directed by five-time Tony Award winner and DGA Award winner George C. Wolfe and executive produced by Higher Ground’s Barack & Michelle Obama, Mark R. Wright, Alex G. Scott. Netflix has set a 2023 release for the film.
A close advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the strategist behind 1963’s momentous March On Washington, Rustin tells the story of a man who dedicated his life to the tireless quest for racial equality, human rights, and worldwide democracy. But as an openly gay Black man, he has been all but erased from the civil rights movement he helped build.
A staunch proponent of non-violent protest, in part due to his Quaker upbringing, Rustin was the driving force behind organizing the historic March on Washington in 1963. He worked with a number of groups through the years including serving as president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a civil rights organization in New York City, from 1966 to 1979. Of Rustin, King wrote to a colleague: “We are thoroughly committed to the method of nonviolence in our struggle and we are convinced that Bayard’s expertness and commitment in this area will be of inestimable value.”
Joining Domingo are Emmy and Grammy winner Chris Rock (Fargo, Amsterdam, Top Five) as Roy Wilkins, Emmy winner Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fargo) as A. Philip Randolph, six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald (Respect, The Good Fight, The Gilded Age) as Ella Baker, Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America, Westworld) as Adam Clayton Powell, four-time Emmy nominee CCH Pounder (NCIS: New Orleans, The Shield) as Dr. Anna Hedgeman and National Film Award nominee Aml Ameen (Yardie) as Martin Luther King Jr.
Rustin is produced by Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen and Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis with the creative team behind Wolfe’s Oscar-nominated Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom including editor Andrew Mondshein, cinematographer Tobias Schliessler, production designer Mark Ricker, with music was created by 3-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and music historian Branford Marsalis.