Central Park Five Scripted Miniseries Coming to Netflix From Ava DuVernay

Central Park Five Netflix Ava DuVernay

Netflix is jumping on the scripted true-crime wave with a look back at the Central Park Five case.

The streaming service has announced a five-part scripted miniseries based on the infamous case, with acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma, 13th) on board to write and direct. In 1989, five Harlem teenagers were accused of raping a female jogger in New York’s Central Park, and their case became a tabloid sensation. (Donald Trump took out a full-page newspaper ad calling for the teens to face the death penalty.) The teens were convicted and sentenced to prison, but years later, after another man confessed to the crime, the five men were exonerated and set free.

Each of the Netflix series’ five episodes will follow one of the accused teens from 1989, when they were first questioned about the crime, to 2014, when the five men won a multimillion-dollar settlement from the city for their wrongful conviction. The case was also the subject of a Ken Burns documentary film, The Central Park Five, that aired on PBS in 2012.

“The story of the men known as the Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades,” DuVernay said in a statement. “In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color 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.”