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10th Jul 2018

Netflix’s new series will examine one of the most controversial and divisive cases in US history

Paul Moore

They’ve got a fantastic cast attached. This could be great.

Given the fact that Netflix are committed to growing their impressive library of documentary features, it’s understandable that audiences can overlook some films that happen to fall through the cracks.

This being said, if you managed to see The Central Park Five when it was available to stream then you’ll know just how good a documentary it is.

As stated previously, a new series on the infamous case will be directed by Ava DuVernay – she made the absolutely brilliant 13th- – and we’re set to experience one of the most powerful and poignant pieces of work that Netflix have ever commissioned.

The Oscar-nominated DuVernay will now turn her attention to a case that’s still regarded as one of the most controversial and divisive “breakdowns of the US criminal justice system.”

Based on a true story that gripped the country, Central Park Five will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers who were convicted of a rape that they did not commit. The episodes will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. The series will span from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with the city of New York.

The series has already started casting and they’ve got some great names attached

Emmy Award Nominee Michael K. Williams (The Wire, The Night Of) will play Bobby McCray, devoted father of accused teen Antron McCray.

Elsewhere, Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed) will play Elizabeth Lederer, the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney and lead prosecutor on the case while John Leguizamo (Bloodline, John Wick) will play Raymond Santana Sr., the father of accused teen Raymond Santana Jr.

“I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on 13th and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there,” DuVernay said in a statement. “The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of colour who were met with injustice at every turn — from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States,” she added.

This could be very, very special.