HBO has released a first look at Rashid Johnson’s modern adaption of Richard Wright’s Native Son.
The novel, widely considered to be required reading for Black people seeking to understand their place in American society, tells the story of poor Chicago youth Bigger Thomas, as portrayed by Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders.
The new trailer for the anticipated project shows Thomas being taunted by the abundance surrounding the family of Will Dalton, the wealthy businessman who hires him to be his chauffeur.
Seething with anger at his inability to stop the relentless suffering of his family, Thomas is constrained by a lack of choices and forced into dangerous situations thrust on him by an unjust nation.
Not only is Thomas seduced by the riches and prestige Dalton freely enjoys, he is also tempted by his teenage daughter, Mary. A slick trust fund baby who can afford to be a pseudo freethinker, Mary exhibits all the carelessness and joy he will never know.
Fascinated by the experience of being Black in America, she parades Thomas around her friends simultaneously exposing him to the lure of communist ideals and the aggression of white supremacy.
Suzan-Lori Parks’ screenplay reimagines Thomas as a product of generation Z with a kelly-green fade. The supporting cast is rounded out by rising stars and respected veterans with the acting chops to pull off bringing such an important book to life.
Nick Robinson, KiKi Layne, Elizabeth Marvel, David Alan Grier and Sanaa Lathan are on deck to watch Thomas misfire as he tries to navigate a path between love and fear.
Native Son debuts on April 6.