Netflix and Ava DuVernay have announced the official title and release date for their “Central Park 5” limited series, with When They See Us (previously titled The Central Park 5) set to hit the streaming service on May 31, 2019. The four-part project examines the lives of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, the young black and hispanic men who were falsely accused of beating and raping a white female jogger in NYC’s Central Park in 1989. The media would go on to refer to the five men as the “Central Park Five,” though they would go on to be exonerated by DNA evidence in 2002 – 13 years after the crime they were wrongfully arrested, charged, and tried for took place.
You can screen the YouTube version of the teaser further below, and here’s a look at how DuVernay announced the news Friday morning on Twitter:
Not thugs. Not wilding. Not criminals. Not even the Central Park Five. They are Korey, Antron, Raymond, Yusef, Kevin. They are millions of young people of color who are blamed, judged and accused on sight. May 31. A film in four parts about who they really are. WHEN THEY SEE US. pic.twitter.com/QQBVqo4TYM
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 1, 2019
When They See Us features an ensemble cast of award-winning actors, with Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk set for Netflix‘s limited series.
Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.
When They See Us was created by Ava DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey from Harpo Films, and Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions will executive produce the limited series alongside DuVernay through her banner, Forward Movement. In addition to DuVernay, Attica Locke, Robin Swicord, and Michael Starrburry also serve as writers on the limited series.