A24 Gains The Rights to Richard Wright’s Native Son

Posted by at 9:17 pm on March 18, 2018

A24 has acquired the worldwide rights to the adaptation of the groundbreaking 1940 Richard Wright novel Native Son. The film was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and will be directed by conceptual artist and photographer Rashid Johnson. His work has been recognized and showcased around the world, and he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, the first artist to be given the honor in nearly 40 years. Native Son will be Johnson’s first feature.

“A24 is active with some of the best filmmakers and films today,” said Johnson. “We’re excited to have a partner that shares our enthusiasm for this amazing and deeply complicated material. We look forward to working with them to bring Richard Wright’s powerful story to life.”

The film version of Native Son takes place in present day Chicago (Johnson’s hometown), with Ashton Sanders in final negotiations to take on the iconic role of Bigger Thomas.​ The remaining cast in negotiations to join the film are Margaret Qualley (NovitiateThe Nice Guys), Nick Robinson (Love, SimonJurassic World), KiKi Layne (Barry Jenkins’ upcoming If Beale Street Could Talk) and Bill Camp (The Night Of), with other roles filling out shortly​. Award-winning cinematographer Matthew Libatique (Black SwanStraight Outta Compton) will be the director of photography.

The film was developed and will be produced by Bow and Arrow Entertainment’s Matthew Pernicaro and Michael Sherman, coming off of Skate Kitchen and Madeline’s Madeline, which both just premiered at Sundance. UTA Independent Film Group negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

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