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Netflix will explore the true crime genre yet again in 2019, with a series based on the controversial case of the Central Park Five, but it won't be a docu-series a la Making a Murderer or The Keepers. No, Central Park Five will be a limited series courtesy of Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay, and now three impressive actors have joined the cast, including one of The Wire fame. Read on to discover the three actors and the roles they'll tackle for Central Park Five!
Omar's (kind of) coming! Michael K. Williams, best known for his iconic role as Omar on The Wire, has signed on for Central Park Five, although his new character will be quite different than the man he brought to life on The Wire. Williams will play Bobby McCray, the devoted father of one of the teenage boys accused of and then convicted of a rape they did not commit. Young Anton McCray lost valuable years of his life while incarcerated as one of the Central Park Five, and we can bet that Williams will have some emotional material ahead of him for this series as Anton's father. On top of The Wire, Michael K. Williams made a name for himself on a variety of projects, including Boardwalk Empire, The Spoils Before Dying, and Hap and Leonard. Anton McCray has not yet been cast.
Michael K. Williams will be joined on Central Park Five by John Leguizamo, who will also play the father of one of the accused teens. As Raymond Santana Sr., Leguizamo's character will have to watch his son, Raymond Santana Jr., go through an ordeal that saw him and other young men wrongfully convicted and not fully exonerated for many years. Raymond Santana Jr. has not been cast, but we can only hope that Central Park Five lands an actor who can hold his own with Leguizamo. Central Park Five will take Leguizamo back to Netflix, who played Ozzy on the thriller Bloodline. TV fans may remember him from series like The Kill Point and a relatively brief stint on ER.
Also joining the cast is Vera Farmiga of Bates Motel fame (or infamy, as the case may be). Unlike Michael K. Williams and John Leguizamo, however, Farmiga will be playing somebody who probably won't be much of an ally to the accused boys, at least at the beginning. She is on board as Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Lederer, who is the lead prosecutor for the case and will presumably cause a lot of trouble for the boys and their families. Farmiga could also be found on the big screen with films like Up in the Air and The Departed.
Created, directed, and written by Ava Duvernay, Central Park _Five_ will run for four episodes and debut globally on Netflix in 2019. Based on the terrible true story that rocked the nation, the series will chronicle the stories of the five teens of color who were wrongfully convicted. The four episodes will focus on the five Harlem boys, which is a slight departure from the original description of the series that stated five episodes were in store, with one per boy. You can expect the series to span from the spring of 1989, which saw the brutal attack of a woman in Central Park and the subsequent questioning of the boys who would ultimately be wrongfully convicted, all the way to their exoneration and settlement in 2014.
The only downside of the exciting castings is that we have a while to wait before we see these actions in action on the series. The show will premiere at some point in 2019; no more precise premiere window has been confirmed. For what you can watch while we wait, check out our 2018 Netflix guide and our summer TV schedule.