Ava DuVernay’s “Central Park 5” has cast three of its leads. The upcoming Netflix limited series will star Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga and John Leguizamo, a person with knowledge of the casting tells TheWrap.
The Academy Award-nominated director will executive produce, write and direct the four-episode narrative series, which is slated for a 2019 release on the streaming service.
Based on a true story, “Central Park 5” will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The episodes 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.
Williams (“The Wire,” “The Night Of”) will play Bobby McCray, devoted father of accused teen Antron McCray. Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “Bates Motel”) will portray Elizabeth Lederer, the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney and lead prosecutor on the case. Leguizamo (“Bloodline,” “John Wick”) has been cast as Raymond Santana Sr., the father of accused teen Raymond Santana Jr.
Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King will also executive produce for Participant Media, along with Oprah Winfrey under her Harpo Films banner, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions.
“Central Park 5” will premiere globally on Netflix in 2019.