Ta-Nehisi Coates’ bestselling 2015 book Between The World and Me is headed to HBO. Deadline reports that Coates’ autobiographical book—as well as the 2018 stage show it inspired—will be adapted into a TV special this fall. Created under specific COVID-19 guidelines, the special will combine aspects of the book’s 2018 stage adaptation alongside book readings, documentary footage, and animation. It will executive-produced by Coates, This Is Us star Susan Kelechi-Watson, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, with Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes directing.
Ahead, what we know about Between the World and Me, including its star-studded cast.
Between the World and Me is based on Coates’ novel of the same name.
“I’ve been working with Kamilah for almost as long as I’ve been a writer. I can think of no one better to put Between The World and Me on screen and no better home for it than HBO,” Coates said about the project in a statement, per Deadline. Between the World and Me is structured as a letter to Coates’s teenage son, Samori Maceo-Paul Coates. It details the writer’s childhood growing up in Baltimore and the constant threat of violence against the Black community in the United States. The book won the National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize.
“As people across our country continue to speak out about violent, systemic racism and the urgent need for tangible change, Ta-Nehisi’s words resonate as strongly today as they did five years ago,” Forbes said in a statement, adding, “I’m excited to collaborate again with both Ta-Nehisi and HBO on this important special event, ensuring that the powerful voices in this work, and cry for justice from the Black community, continues to reach a broader audience.”
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Along with producing the special, HBO will donate to Howard University and the Apollo Theater.
A celebrity-filled cast will bring Between the World and Me to life.
On August 13, it was announced that a top-tier cast will star in the forthcoming special. Watson, also a producer on the project, will be joined by Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots, Courtney B. Vance, and Pauletta Washington.
Additional cast will be announced, along with an official premiere date.
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