Ava DuVernay to adapt Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed new book ‘Caste’ for Netflix

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Ava DuVernay, left, and Jharrel Jerome appear on the set of “When They See Us.” [Netflix photo]

Ava DuVernay will direct, write and produce the feature adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed new book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.”

As Variety notes, the new project will reunite the Oscar-nominated moviemaker with Netflix, although it will be her first feature film for the streaming giant.

Titled “Caste,” the film version of Wilkerson’s book will use a multiple-story format to analyze the “unspoken system that has shaped America and chronicles how our lives today are defined by a hierarchy of human divisions dating back generations.”

DuVernay will produce “Caste” alongside ARRAY Filmworks’ Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes, according to Variety. Netflix executive Tendo Nagenda will team with DuVernay for the “Caste” adaptation; they worked together on DuVernay’s 2018 Disney release “A Wrinkle in Time,” which adapted the beloved Madeleine L’Engle’s science fiction book.

Published in August, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” is the latest novel by Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winner. The new book is already a New York Times best-seller and an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

DuVernay and Netflix have proven a successful team: She directed the 2016 documentary “13th,” named for the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery. Chronicling the history of racial injustice and mass incarceration in America, the film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature – and garnered DuVernay the honor of becoming the first Black female director nominated for an Academy Award.

DuVernay’s next Netflix project, the four-part 2019 miniseries “When They See Us” – which told the story of the “Exonerated Five,” the five wrongly accused black and Hispanic teenagers also known as the Central Park Five – received 16 Emmy nominations.

In addition, DuVernay is also producing a series for the streaming service based on the life and activism of professional football player Colin Kaepernick, titled “Colin in Black & White,” according to Variety.

-BAM

 

 

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