Acclaimed director (and "excellent" rapper) Ava DuVernay has had us hype for her upcoming Netflix series on The Central Park Five for over a year. From making sure that inclusion was at the forefront of the casting decisions to the impressive crop of actors they brought on, many have been hype for the series to hit the streaming giant.
Today, Ava took to Twitter to not only announce that the series, which was previously said to be titled The Central Park Five, now has a new title: When They See Us. It is also set to premiere globally on May 31, 2019.
Not thugs. Not wilding. Not criminals. Not even the Central Park Five. They are Korey, Antron, Raymond, Yusef, Kevin. They are millions of young people of color who are blamed, judged and accused on sight. May 31. A film in four parts about who they really are. WHEN THEY SEE US. pic.twitter.com/QQBVqo4TYM— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 1, 2019
"In 1989," DuVernay begins in a statement about the reasoning behind the series' name change, "five black and brown teen boys were wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit and branded The Central Park Five, a moniker that has followed them since that time. In 2019, our series gives the five men a platform to finally raise their voices and tell their full stories. In doing so, Korey, Antron, Raymond, Kevin and Yusef also tell the story of many young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system. We wanted to reflect this perspective in our title, embracing the humanity of the men and not their politicized moniker."
When They See Us has some heavy hitters behind the scenes. Ava DuVernay not only created and directed the four-part Netflix series (which Ava calls "a film in four parts"), but she co-wrote each of the parts. Ava's also on as an executive producer (via her company Forward Movement), but the list of executive producers also includes Oprah Winfrey (courtesy of Harpo Films) and Robert De Niro (from Tribeca Productions). The series stars include Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Jharrel Jerome, Storm Reid, and many more.
When They See Us hits Netflix on May 31; check out the first teaser from the series up above. Here's an early look at the series, via these still images below.