Ava DuVernay will write and direct a five-part scripted series based on the true story of the Central Park Five for Netflix, according to Variety. Oprah Winfrey, who has worked with DuVernay before on "Selma" and "Queen Sugar," has signed on as an executive producer.
This is the second project DuVernay will create for Netflix, after her widely successful documentary about the prison industrial complex, "13th," aired in 2016.
"I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on '13th' and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there," DuVernay said. "The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn — from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States."
The Central Park Five refers to the notorious case of five black teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of the brutal rape of a white woman in New York City's Central Park in 1989. All five men were exonerated in 2014 and reached a settlement with the city. At the time of the case, Donald Trump paid for full page advertisements in all four daily New York newspapers obtusely calling for the restoration of law and order to the city and of the death penalty to the state. The series will span from the initial questioning of the five in 1989 to the overturning of their convictions in 2014.
"This is one of the most talked-about cases of our time and Ava's passionate vision and masterful direction will bring the human stories behind the headlines to life in this series," Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix said. "After powerfully reframing the public conversation about criminality and injustice in '13th,' Ava now turns a new lens to a case that exposes deep flaws in our criminal justice system."