How to Watch ‘American Fiction’: Is the Jeffrey Wright Movie Streaming?

The “Westworld” actor stars as frustrated novelist Monk whose big break as a writer comes after he pens a book that exploits Black stereotypes

'American Fiction'
'American Fiction'

Cord Jefferson’s feature directorial debut “American Fiction” is a satirical comedy that tells the story of a frustrated novelist who ends up finally getting his big break when he pens a book that exploits Black stereotypes.

Back in September, the film won the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival — long a harbinger of Oscar success. Indeed, the film picked up five Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor for Jeffrey Wright.

While the film is based on Percival Everett’s 2001 novel “Erasure,” the idea to adapt the literary piece came to Jefferson in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I had a really huge professional failing in 2020, where this TV show that I thought was going to get on the air and was confident would go got killed at the last minute,” Jefferson, a former journalist, told TheWrap awards editor Steve Pond during a panel discussion for TheWrap screenings.

With the uncertainty of his professional career, Jefferson began reading and happened upon “Erasure.”

“Three months before I found ‘Erasure,’ I had received a note on a script from an executive who told me that I needed to make a character ‘blacker,’ and it came through an emissary,” Jefferson said. “This executive was afraid to tell me this to my face, and I said to the emissary, ‘I will indulge that note, as long as this person sits in front of me and tells me what it means to be ‘Blacker.” And the note went away.”

After a long road pitching to several Hollywood studios and productions companies, signing a request letter to Jeffrey Wright to star in the film and filling out his cast with heavy-hitting talent, including Tracee Ellis Ross, Sterling K. Brown and Erika Alexander, his movie has received immense acclaim — all ahead of its release. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch it.

When did “American Fiction” come out?

“American Fiction” opened exclusively in theaters on Dec. 15.

Where is “American Fiction” streaming?

Right now, “American Fiction” is only available to stream on Fubo TV and MGM+. It will eventually be streaming on Prime Video.

What is “American Fiction” about?

“American Fiction” is about a novelist named Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) who is frustrated with his stalled career as a writer and takes a break from his job as an English professor. Angered by the constant success of books that depict the Black community through racist stereotypes, Monk pens his own book using the same model and it ends up being the most successful work he’s done.

Who is in the “American Fiction” cast?

The full cast of “American Fiction” includes Jeffrey Wright as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, Tracee Ellis Ross as Lisa Ellison, Sterling K. Brown as Clifford Ellison, Erika Alexander as Coraline and John Ortiz as Arthur. The cast also includes Leslie Uggams, as Agnes Ellison, Issa Rae as Sintara Golden, Myra Lucretia Taylor as Lorraine, Raymond Anthony as Maynard and Adam Brody as Wiley.

Who wrote and directed “American Fiction”?

Writer, director, essayist and journalist Cord Jefferson is the brains behind “American Fiction,” his feature film directorial debut. His work as a writer includes “Watchmen,” “Succession,” “The Good Place” and “Master of None.”

Is “American Fiction” based on a book?

“American Fiction” is based on the 2001 novel “Erasure,” which was written by novelist Percival Everett. Like Cord Jefferson’s film, “Erasure” is centered on a frustrated novelist and English professor who jokingly and spitefully pens a book that consists of stereotypical Black storytelling after watching such-like books gain fame and admiration. To his surprise, his book becomes a major success and is beloved by a flock of readers.

Watch the trailer


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