EXCLUSIVE: Adrienne Warren is set as a lead in Hulu drama series Black Cake, from Women of the Movement creator Marissa Jo Cerar, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. Andrew Dosunmu (Where Is Kyra?) has been tapped to direct the pilot episode of the project, which landed at the Disney streamer with a straight-to-series order last fall.
Black Cake, based on the book by Charmaine Wilkerson, marks a reunion for Warren with Cerar, Kaplan and Disney following their collaboration on Women of the Movement. Warren starred as Mamie Till-Mobley in the ABC limited series, which was created by Cerar and produced by Kapital.
Cerar serves as showrunner on Black Cake, a family drama wrapped in a murder mystery with a diverse cast of characters and a global setting that spans decades. The story takes place in Jamaica, Rome, Scotland, England and Southern California.
In the late 1960s, a runaway bride named Covey disappears into the surf off the coast of Jamaica and is feared drowned or a fugitive on the run for her husband’s murder. Fifty years later in California, a widow named Eleanor Bennett loses her battle with cancer, leaving her two estranged children, Byron and Benny (Warren), a flash drive that holds previously untold stories of her journey from the Caribbean to America. These stories, narrated by Eleanor, shock her children and challenge everything they thought they knew about their family’s origin.
Warren’s Benny Bennett is an artist and empath who loves with her whole heart, but mysterious circumstances have kept her estranged from her entire family for eight years. When Benny is summoned home by her brother to listen to a message left by their late mother, she is forced to face the ghosts from her past that have kept her from her family for all these years.
The series is executive produced by Cerar, Harpo Films’ Winfrey and Carla Gardini and Kapital Entertainment’s Kaplan, Brian Morewitz and Michael Lohmann. Harpo’s Emily Rudolf co-executive produces. Jessie Abbott is overseeing for Kapital.
Warren will next be seen opposite Viola Davis in Gina Prince Bythewood’s upcoming historical epic feature film The Woman King, set for a theatrical release in September. She won the Tony, Drama Desk, Antonyo and Outer Critics Circle awards for her performance as Tina Turner in Broadway’s Tina, The Tina Turner Musical. Warren originated the role in the West End production, earning her Olivier, Evening Standard and Joe Allen Award nominations. She also received a Tony nomination for Broadway’s Shuffle Along. Warren is Co-Founder of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, which received a special Tony Award last year. She’s repped by Gersh, Perennial Entertainment and Peikoff Mahan.
Dosunmu most recently directed the Netflix Original film Beauty, written by Lena Waithe, which will be released this year. Next up, he will helm Amazon Studios’ Marked Man, starring Winston Duke as Marcus Garvey. His other previous credits include the Sundance pics Where Is Kyra?, Restless City and Mother of George. Dosunmu is repped by CAA and Granderson Des Rochers.
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