The tension, even terror, that made American Son so gripping on Broadway last season is evident in this new teaser for the upcoming Netflix adaptation of the drama. Netflix just released the clip tonight during Fox’s Emmy Awards broadcast.
The teaser sets up the plot with terse efficiency (little seems to have been changed in Christopher Demos-Brown’s original play): Kerry Washington plays Kendra Ellis-Connor, the mother of a missing teenage boy who is desperate for any news of her missing son while she waits in a South Florida police station. Steven Pasquale also recreates his stage role as Kendra’s estranged partner and the missing boy’s father.
Part of the tension is obvious from the start: Kendra is black, her ex is white (and in law enforcement), and their mixed-race son looks more like her than him. The parents know that the very police upon whom they depend for news could also be the cause of the boy’s disappearance.
Jeremy Jordan also recreates his stage role, playing a young, mostly well-meaning – and white – cop who takes markedly different approaches when speaking to either of the parents. One of the successes of Demos-Brown’s play was the way assumptions and prejudices crawl into every interaction, never more so than when stakes are so cruelly high.
Also reprising his stage appearance is Eugene Lee, powerful as a late-arriving black officer whose approach to the situation upends all expectations.
Kenny Leon directs, as he did on Broadway. Washington and Pilar Savone executive produce under Washington’s banner Simpson Street. Jeffrey Richards and Rebecca Gold also serve as executive producers.
American Son launches Nov. 1 on Netflix.
Watch the teaser above, and read Deadline’s review of the Broadway production here.
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