Jacob Latimore (Collateral Beauty) and Yolonda Ross (Treme, The Get Down) have been cast as series regulars for Showtime’s hourlong drama The Chi, from Lena Waithe, Elwood Reid, Common, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Fox 21 TV Studios.
Created/executive produced by Waithe, executive produced/showrun by Reid and executive produced by Common and Kaplan, The Chi is a coming-of-age story that follows a half dozen interrelated characters in the South Side of Chicago.
The recent series pickup of the project was made based on a new pilot script and backup scripts written by a small writers room. As part of the drama’s redevelopment, it is being fully recast, with Rick Famuyiwa set to direct the new opening episode.
Ross will play Jada, a full-time nurse/caregiver and single mother to her reckless, but charming son Emmett, played by Latimore. Emmett is an entrepreneurial ladies’ man until he’s stuck solo parenting his toddler age son and forced to be responsible for someone else. While Jada takes a tough love approach to Emmett’s first steps into fatherhood, she is beginning to explore a coming of age of her own. Ross replaces Aisha Hinds, while Latimore replaces Tequan Richmond, who played the roles in the original pilot.
Ross and Latimore join recently cast Jason Mitchell, who plays Brandon, an ambitious and confident young man who dreams about opening a restaurant of his own someday, but is conflicted between the promise of a new life and his responsibility to his mother and teenage brother back in the South Side. Thet role was previously played by Tosin Cole.
Latimore, who most recently starred opposite Will Smith in Collateral Beauty, will next be seen in a starring turn in 2016 Sundance pic Sleight, slated to be released on April 7. His other upcoming films include William H. Macy’s directorial debut Krystal, and a yet-to be named crime drama from Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal. He’s repped by CAA and Jeremy Geffen Management Group.
Ross, who played Ms. Green on The Get Down and Dana Lyndsey on Treme, is repped by INSURGE-Ent and Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management.