Here’s your first glimpse of Ashton Sanders’s haunting portrayal of Bigger Thomas in Native Son. The film first premiered at Sundance in January, and is slated to premiere April 6 on HBO. The screenplay, by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks, was adapted from Richard Wright’s 1940 novel of the same name, which explores issues of race and class. The story is updated for the 21st century, but it follows the same characters through the city of Chicago.
You’ll of course remember Sanders as one of the protagonists of 2017’s Moonlight. Our own Bilge Ebiri said his performance in Native Son “breathes new life into one of American literature’s most heartbreaking and controversial characters.”
The cast also features fellow Barry Jenkins alum Kiki Layne, who starred in last year’s If Beale Street Could Talk; Sanaa Lathan, who’s set to star in an episode of Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone; and Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, and Bill Camp.