Ava DuVernay's Netflix series focused on the Central Park Five is here, and it will give you chills. Chills because of the stories of these men, who were wrongly sentenced for a crime they did not commit, chills because of the incredible actors bringing these stories to life, and chills because it was 30 years ago today, April 19, 1989, that a brutal rape and beating of a woman in Central Park altered the lives of many forever.
The trailer for When They See Us starts with a young Black boy, Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk) surrounded by old white officers. They're grilling him as he asks for his mother. For those who know how the story goes, this young man, along with four others — Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Jr., and Korey Wise — will end up in prison for a crime they did not commit. Their stories will be told in four parts and premieres May 31 on the streaming service.
The cast combines big names, and new ones, as the series spans 25 years, featuring teen and adult portrayals of the Central Park Five. One of the names involved that may cause buzz for a different reason: Felicity Huffman. This is her first release (her other project at Netflix, Otherhood appears to have been stalled) since she said she plans to plead guilty in the college cheating scandal. Huffman plays Linda Fairstein, the leading prosecutor for the sex crimes Manhattan unit at the time of the case. She is featured prominently in the trailer, but in none of the promotional images for the series.
The series also stars Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Niecy Nash, and Joshua Jackson. DuVernay previously worked with Netflix on her stirring documentary, 13th, about the failures and injustices of America's prison system
Watch the emotional trailer below.