Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us), Marc Bamuthi Joseph (We Shall Not Be Moved), Janet Mock (Pose), jazz pianist/composer Jason Moran, Wendell Pierce (Jack Ryan), Mj Rodriguez (Pose, Hollywood), Kendrick Sampson (Insecure), Yara Shahidi (Black-ish, Grown-ish) and Michelle Wilson (Sweat) have joined the cast of Between the World and Me, HBO’s adaptation of the stage show based on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ New York Times bestseller.
They join previously announced cast members Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson and Oprah Winfrey.
Originally adapted and staged by the Apollo Theater in 2018, the special will combine elements of that production, including readings from Coates’ book, and will again be directed by award-winning director and Apollo Theater executive poducer Kamilah Forbes. It will also incorporate documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage and animation.
The book, first published in 2015 by One World, is written as a letter to Coates’ teenage son and recounts the author’s experiences growing up in Baltimore’s inner city and his growing fear of daily violence against the Black community. The narrative explores Coates’ notion that American society structurally supports white supremacy.
Forbes will executive produce with Coates, Watson and Roger Ross Williams, whose production company One Story Up produces.
The special, which is currently in production under COVID-19 guidelines, debuts this fall on HBO and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.
Additional cast will be announced.
Jerome is repped by Kipperman Management, UTA and Sloane, Offer. Joseph is repped by Sozo Artists. Mock is repped by CAA, 3 Arts, and Del Shaw Moonves. Moran is repped by Gorfaine Schwartz Agency. Pierce is repped by Paradigm and Essential Talent. Rodriguez is repped by Gersh, Del, Shaw, Moonves and The Initiative Group. Sampson is repped by CAA and HJTH. Shahidi is repped by CAA, Principal Entertainment and attorney Ryan Nord. Wilson is repped by Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates and JWS Entertainment.