Ava DuVernay's Central Park Five series has a new name, a release date, and a powerful first teaser.
The four-part limited series, now titled When They See Us, will debut on Netflix Friday, May 31. The news is accompanied by the first footage of DuVernay's highly anticipated project, which is based on the true stories of five men — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — who were falsely accused of a crime when they were young. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.
"In 1989, 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," DuVernay said in a statement. "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 was created by DuVernay, who also co-wrote and directed the four parts. The limited series is executive-produced by DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh, and Robert De Niro.
The series stars Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez, and Asante Blackk.
When They See Us premieres Friday, May 31 on Netflix.