In 2017, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay announced that she was working on a Netflix limited series about the Central Park Five—five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of rape in 1989. Today, March 1st, Netflix released the first teaser trailer for DuVernay’s series. Entertainment Weekly reports that the five-part series will be called When They See Us, and it will be available on Netflix worldwide beginning on May 31st. The project was originally titled The Central Park Five, but in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, DuVernay said that she wanted the series to “tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system.”
DuVernay shared the teaser on Twitter, writing:
The minute-long video, which follows one of the five young men, is chilling.
According to New York Magazine, the now-infamous case began when a 28-year-old white woman jogging through Central Park was beaten and raped. Five black and Latino teenagers—Korey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Yusef Salaam—were arrested in connection to the case and later convicted. Although there were videotaped confessions from each of them, the five said that police coerced them to confess. Each served between five and 13 years in prison. But later, serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to the crime, and his DNA was found at the crime scene.
The When They See Us cast includes Moonlight‘s Jharrel Jerome as Wise and Fences‘ Jovan Adepo as McCray. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Storm Reid, Christopher Jackson, Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, and John Leguizamo have supporting roles. Felicity Huffman also appears as Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor on the case. With DuVernay at the helm, we have no doubts that this series will do justice to the stories of Wise, McCray, Richardson, Santana, and Salaam. We’ll definitely be streaming When They See Us on May 31st.