HBO Films Acquires Rashid Johnson’s ‘Native Son’

First-time filmmaker Rashid Johnson directs a script penned by Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.


Native Son, based on Richard Wright’s seminal novel of the same name, has been acquired by HBO Films to premiere later this year. The modern reimagining of Wright’s 1930’s-set coming-of-age drama follows Bigger Thomas, a young African-American man who takes a job working for a highly influential Chicago family — a decision that changes the course of his life.

Native Son is directed by first-time filmmaker Rashid Johnson and penned by Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. Ashton Sanders of Moonlight will lead as Bigger Thomas, alongside Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) as Mary Dalton, Nick Robinson as Jan Erlone, KiKi Layne as Bessie, Elizabeth Marvel as Mrs. Dalton, David Alan Grier as Marty, Sanaa Lathan as Trudy Thomas, and Bill Camp (The Night Of) as Henry Dalton.

Executive produced by Stephanie Meurer (Good Time, Documentary Now!) and produced by Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman of Bow and Arrow Entertainment, Native Son, was acquired ahead of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and continues HBO’s collaboration with A24 (2 Dope Queens, Euphoria).

Native Son premieres April 6 on HBO.

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