The Central Park jogger case divided New York City at the end of the 80s. A group of young men attacked, raped and sodomized a complete stranger, Trisha Meili, leaving her in a coma for 12 days. Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, were convicted.
Because of the press, it became embedded in the minds of New Yorkers, and beyond. Donald Trump put out $85,000 full-page ads calling for New York to reinstate the death penalty. Almost to this day, the president states with conviction that those Five Harlem teenagers are guilty. But the Central Park Five didn’t do it. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay is developing a limited series with Neflix that will examine their conviction and exoneration.
When They See Us will be a four-episode mini-series spanning from when each of the Central Park Five were first questioned to the settlement they reached with the city of New York in 2012, Variety reports.
This is the second project DuVernay, who will write and direct the miniseries, secured with Netflix. She helmed the 2016 private prison exposé 13th, which was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary feature.
“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 in a statement.
The series is being executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey and her 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,” Netflix Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said in a statement.
When They See Us Release Date
Netflix and Ava DuVernay have announced a release date for the four-part When They See Us miniseries. All four episodes will debut on May 31. DuVernay had a tweet timed for the announcement as well.
When They See Us Trailer
The full When They See Us trailer is here. Give it a look below.
Here is a brief, but haunting first look at the Central Park Five in the first When They See Us teaser.
When They See Us Cast
Netflix provided a major cast update for the four-episode series When They See Us. Jharrel Jerome will portray both the adult and young Wise. Caleel Harris will play the young McCray while Jovan Adepo was cast as the adult McCray. Chris Chalk will play the adult Salaam to Jerome Ethan Herisse’s portrayal of young Salaam. Freddy Miyares will play the adult Santana. Marquis Rodriguez will play him as a young man. Justin Cunningham was cast as the adult Richardson, to Asante Blackk’s portrayal of young Richardson.
Niecy Nash (Claws) will play Delores Wise, mother of Korey. Aunjanue Ellis (The Birth of a Nation) will play Sharone Salaam, mother of Yusef Salaam; Kylie Bunbury (Pitch) will play Angie Richardson, sister of Kevin Richardson; Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange is the New Black) will play Linda McCray, mother of Antron McCray; Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time) will play Lisa, a friend of Korey Wise.
The first casting announcement included Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, and Felicity Huffman.