"Dear White People' TV Series Based on Movie a Go at Netflix"
Y'all ready to be wrong again?
'Dear White People' TV Series Based on Movie a Go at Netflix Justin Simien will write the 10-episode comedy series as well as direct the premiere installment. Justin Simien Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Justin Simien will write the 10-episode comedy series as well as direct the premiere installment. Breakout screenwriter-director Justin Simien is bringing Dear White People to the small screen.
Netflix has handed out a straight-to-series order for a comedy based on his 2014 crowdfunded movie, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The 10-episode, 30-minute project hails from Lionsgate Television and will, like the film, follow a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug. The series is a send-up of "post-racial" America that also weaves a universal story about forging one's own unique path.
Simien will write the series and direct the first episode. Devon Shepard (House of Lies, Weeds), Stephanie Allain Bray (Dear White People) and Julia Lebedev (Dear White People) will executive produce the series, which will begin production this year for a debut in 2017. It's unclear if any of the movie's original cast — including Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson and Dennis Haysbert — will return for the TV series.
"During the film's release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time," said Simien. "I'm so grateful to have this platform — not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views. From Day 1, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I'd imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don't take lightly."
Simien used his tax refund to underwrite a concept trailer for the film, which was produced by Lionsgate corporate sibling Roadside Attractions. By 2014, the crowdfunded movie became a favorite at film festivals and went on to earn the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the Sundance Film Festival. It has grossed more than $4.4 million domestically. ~~~~ When you are born, you cry, and the world rejoices. Live so that when you die, you rejoice, and the world cries. ~~~~ You cannot hate people for their own good.