HBO is bringing its A-game to its recently announced adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. On Thursday, August 13, HBO announced the first round of casting for the forthcoming project based on the 2018 stage performance of Coates’s New York Times best selling book at the Apollo Theater, and it’s a veritable who’s who of D.B.A’s (Distinguished Black Actors). Academy-Award nominee Angela Bassett, Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, Emmy-winner Joe Morton, Tony-award winner Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots, Emmy and Tony-winner Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, This Is Us actress Susan Kelechi Watson, and, of course, Academy-Award nominee Oprah Winfrey have all joined the cast. Can you say Black excellence?
HBO’s Between the World and Me will be directed by Apollo Theater Executive Producer and award-winning director Kamilah Forbes and will feature “documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage, and animation” when it airs on HBO and streams on HBO Max this fall. Per The Hollywood Reporter, HBO is also making donations to HBCU Howard University, (the alma matter of Coates, Forbes, Watson, and Rashad - go Bison!) as well as the Apollo Theater. Somehow, this is only the first round of casting, so (lucky for us) even more Black talent has the potential to get involved. Perhaps Denzel will join his wife, Pauletta, and follow married couple Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett’s footsteps as the second Black power couple in the mix? Maybe Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, and/or Mahershala Ali could lend their voices to the animated section? Someone better get Viola, Regina, and Regina on the phone ASAP.