Sanaa Lathan has just landed a pivotal role in A24’s film adaptation of Richard Wright’s iconic book, Native Son.
She joins the Ashton Sanders (Moonlight)-led cast, which also includes Nick Robinson, Bill Camp, Connie Nielsen, Margaret Qualley and KiKi Layne (star of Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk).
Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks is the writer and it is being directed by Rashid Johnson.
A24 is still at it after having three Oscar contenders this year in Lady Bird, The Florida Project and The Disaster Artist, and of course, having Moonlight win Best Picture in 2017.
Here’s the description for Native Son: Right from the start, Bigger Thomas (Sanders) had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
The film would be adapted for present-day-Chicago.
Lathan’s role: “Trudy Thomas, a widow who is doing her best to raise three children in a small and cramped but tidy Chicago apartment. When her new boyfriend helps arrange a job interview for her eldest son Bigger to work as a chauffeur for local real estate magnate, a chain of events is triggered that will have devastating consequences for both families.”
Deadline first reported the news.