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Moonlight's Ashton Sanders is in talks to star in a film adaptation of Richard Wright's Native Son

Photo: Jason LaVeris (Getty Images)

A24 acquired the film rights to a classic novel of racial alienation and oppression this week, with THR reporting that the up-and-coming studio is putting into production an adaptation of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel Native Son. Ashton Sanders, who played the teenage version of main character Chiron in Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winner Moonlight, is in advanced talks to play the book’s protagonist, Bigger Thomas, a young black man living in fear of a social system that seems set up from the start to force him to flounder and fail.

Artist Rashid Johnson will direct the film (their first feature) from a script by Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. Besides Sanders, other performers in talks for major roles include Margaret Qualley and Nick Robinson, star of the recent Love, Simon. Among other recent successes, A24 produced Sanders’ Moonlight; its upcoming projects include Chance The Rapper’s Slice and the terrifying-looking horror feature Hereditary.


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