From “Fargo” to “Limitless,” television shows based on movies are all the rage these days. You can now add “Dear White People” to that list, as Netflix has given a series order to an adaptation of writer/director Justin Simien’s 2014 racial satire. Simien himself will write all 10 episodes of the half-hour show and is set to direct its premiere as well.
Set at the fictional Winchester University, an Ivy League school with a predominantly white student body, “Dear White People” focused on Sam (an excellent Tessa Thompson), a bi-racial film major whose radio show often features candid discussions of race. Tensions arise throughout, culminating in a blackface-themed house party. Simien won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for his work on the film, his feature debut. During its crowdfunding phase, it was voted as Indiewire’s Project of the Day and then Project of the Week before being named the first-ever Project of the Year.
“Justin is a gifted storyteller whose bold, unique vision is perfectly suited to Netflix,” said the streaming giant’s Vice President of Original Content, Cindy Holland. “His original film ‘Dear White People’ announced the arrival of a fresh, creative voice that had everyone talking, and we’re excited to have Justin create this new series for our members worldwide.”
The series will be produced by Lionsgate, whose sister company Roadside Attractions released the original film. “Dear White People” goes into production later this year and will be available via Netflix in 2017.
For more, watch the film’s red-band trailer: