Neon Nabs Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ Ahead of Venice Premiere for Late 2023 Release

The film, which also dropped a brief teaser, stars Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga

"Origin" (CREDIT: Courtesy of Neon)

Neon announced Tuesday that they have acquired worldwide distribution rights to Ava DuVernay’s latest directorial effort, “Origin” ahead of its Wednesday premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Inspired by Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed novel, “Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents,” DuVernay’s film turns Wilkerson into a real character played by Oscar-nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (“King Richard”). As the official synopsis for the film reads, “While grappling with tremendous personal tragedy, Isabel sets herself on a path of global investigation and discovery. Despite the colossal scope of her project, she finds beauty and bravery while crafting one of the defining American books of our time.”

The film also stars Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash-Betts, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, Blair Underwood, Finn Wittrock, Jasmine Cephas-Jones and Connie Nielsen.

Accompanying the release is a brief first teaser of the movie, giving audiences their first glimpse of Ellis-Taylor’s Isabel.

NEON CEO and Founder Tom Quinn said in a prepared statement that, “I’ve known Ava for a long time and my love and admiration for her and her work goes back further, even before Middle of Nowhere. I’m truly humbled that it is this movie which has finally brought us together. She has always been a gifted storyteller, and her mastery of her craft shines through in this deeply personal and inspired adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s book, and dramatization of her remarkable life. Origin proves once again that Ava remains one of the most groundbreaking and essential filmmakers of her generation.”

Paul Garnes and DuVernay produced Origin under her ARRAY Filmworks banner.

DuVernay has become one of the most acclaimed directors of our time and is the first African-American female director to have her film in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Prior to this she was the first Black woman to direct an Oscar-nominated feature for her 2014 feature, “Selma.” She was nominated for Best Documentary Feature Oscar for her searing film, “13th,” looking at racism within the U.S. prison system. Her 2019 limited series “When They See Us” was nominated for 16 Emmys in 2019.

Watch the teaser below.

“Origin” will receive a theatrical debut later this year.