HBO has assembled a star-studded lineup to bring Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book to life: Oprah Winfrey and Angela Bassett are among the big names appearing in the upcoming special Between the World and Me, TVLine has learned.
The special, based on Coates’ bestselling book about his often harrowing experiences as a young Black man in Baltimore’s inner city, will combine elements from the 2018 stage production, including readings from Coates’ book, with documentary footage from the actors’ home lives, archival footage and animation. The special, which is filming now under COVID-19 guidelines, will air this fall on HBO.
Winfrey and Bassett are joined in the cast by This Is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson (who was also previously announced as an executive producer on the special), Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), Joe Morton (Scandal), Pauletta Washington (She’s Gotta Have It), The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and activist and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza. Acclaimed stage director Kamilah Forbes (Brave New Voices) will direct the special and serve as an executive producer.
“Ta-Nehisi’s book is a modern literary classic that provides an essential message for our times,” HBO boss Casey Bloys previously said in a statement. “We are tremendously proud to bring this incredibly important event to our audiences.”