casting couch

Colman Domingo to Play Activist Bayard Rustin in the Obamas’ First Narrative Film

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Higher Ground Productions, one of Barack and Michelle Obama’s main projects since leaving the White House, has had a pretty good track record in the few years it’s been off the ground, nabbing an Oscar for the documentary American Factory, along with a second nomination for Crip Camp, an Emmy nomination for Becoming, and multiple popular podcasts. Their next frontier? Narrative film — with some help from a stacked cast for their first feature, Rustin, a biopic of the civil- and gay-rights activist who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. Per a press release, the film now has its Bayard Rustin: Colman Domingo, a Tony nominee for The Scottsboro Boys and the recent star of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Zola, and Candyman. Filling out the cast will be Chris Rock as NAACP executive Roy Wilkins, Glynn Turman as Rustin’s March on Washington co-organizer A. Philip Randolph, and Audra McDonald as fellow activist Ella Baker. The Netflix film is set to be directed by George C. Wolfe, who helmed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and written by Wolfe alongside Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for Milk. And it comes from a personal connection to President Obama, who awarded Rustin a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.

Colman Domingo to Star in the Obamas’ First Narrative Film