Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Richard Wright Novel ‘Native Son’ Headed to Big Screen with ‘Moonlight’s’ Ashton Sanders in Lead

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Actor Ashton Sanders attends the Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on February 13, 2018 in New York City.
Actor Ashton Sanders attends the Calvin Klein Collection during New York Fashion Week at New York Stock Exchange on February 13, 2018 in New York City.

*A film adaptation of Richard Wright’s novel is in the works, with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks writing the script, celebrated conceptual artist Rashid Johnson in the director’s chair and “Moonlight” star Ashton Sanders in final negotiations to take on the iconic role of Bigger Thomas, reports Deadline.

A24 has acquired worldwide rights to the project, which will take place in the present day in Johnson’s hometown of Chicago.

Margaret Qualley (Novitiate, The Nice Guys), Nick Robinson (Love, Simon, Jurassic World), KiKi Layne (Barry Jenkins’ upcoming If Beale Street Could Talk) and Bill Camp (The Night Of) round out the cast.

Matthew Libatique (Straight Outta Compton, Black Swan) will be the director of photography. Production on the film begins April 9.

The film was developed and will be produced by Bow and Arrow Entertainment’s Matthew Pernicaro and Michael Sherman, coming off of Skate Kitchen and Madeline’s Madeline, which both just premiered at Sundance.

Johnson, who began his career as a photographer and has since worked across media to explore ideas about African American identity, will mark his directorial debut with “Native Son.”

“A24 is active with some of the best filmmakers and films today,” Johnson said. “We’re excited to have a partner that shares our enthusiasm for this amazing and deeply complicated material. We look forward to working with them to bring Richard Wright’s powerful story to life.”

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