On May 5, all Dear White People enthusiasts received some very exciting news about the changes coming to the franchise. The movie is being turned into a show for Netflix.
Netflix has ordered a TV adaptation of the Justin Simien 2014 comedy for a 2017 release date. Similar to the film, the Netflix series will chart the lives of a group of students of color who deal with adult problems associated with race, privilege, and power at a fictional Ivy League university.
Justin Simien will write the 10-episode 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.
“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,” Simien said. “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.”
At this current moment, the casting decisions for Dear White People have not been announced, and it is unclear if the series will include the same group of characters as the movie. The film starred Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Teyonah Parris, Dennis Haysbert, Malcolm Barrett and Brandon Bell.
“We’re proud to expand our partnership with our friends at Netflix on a comedy that tackles racial themes with a combination of intelligence, honesty, irreverence and wit,” said Lionsgate TV Executive Vice President Chris Selak. “Our original film with Roadside Attractions catapulted Dear White People into the national conversation about race, and Justin and the rest of the creative team have an opportunity to expand this world and bring its timely and universal themes to a global television audience.”
Dear White People was created from a concept trailer Justin Simien made using a tax refund. The film was crowd-funded and gained tremendous praise at various film festivals. Since then, he has been asked to direct the comedy, Make a Wish, starring Anthony Mackie, and develop a musical for Macro, which is a production banner which focuses on projects for multicultural audiences.
(Photo by Smallz & Raskind/Getty Images)