Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba Netflix Western Rounds Out Cast: Beetz, Stanfield, King, Lindo

Jay-Z collaborator Jeymes Samuel's Black western has added new cast members including several 2020 awards season contenders.
The Harder They Fall
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP; C3396/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images; Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Netflix’s “The Harder They Fall” is shaping up to be one of the streamer’s major upcoming titles. A Black-dominated western, the film directed by Jeymes Samuel was first announced back in fall 2019 with Idris Elba and Jonathan Majors starring, but now has added more to the cast — including several 2020 awards season contenders.

Joining the cast will be Zazie Beetz (a 2018 Primetime Emmy nominee for “Atlanta”), Delroy Lindo (an Oscar contender for Spike Lee’s Netflix movie “Da 5 Bloods”), Lakeith Stanfield (“Sorry to Bother You”), and Regina King (Oscar winner for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” a 2020 Emmy contender to beat for HBO’s “Watchmen,” and now an awards player for her feature directorial debut “One Night in Miami”). Also starring in the film will be RJ Cyler (“White Boy Rick” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”), Danielle Deadwyler (“Watchmen”), and Edi Gathegi (“X-Men: First Class”).

Directed by Samuel, also known as singer/songwriter and producer The Bullitts, and co-written by Samuel and Boaz Yakin, “The Harder They Fall” centers on outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), who discovers that his enemy, Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), is being released from prison, so he reunites his gang to track Rufus down and seek revenge. The film will be produced by Jay-Z, with whom The Bullitts collaborated on “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack, and they will together re-team to make original music for “The Harder They Fall.” Other producers are James Lassiter and Lawrence Bender.

This is Samuel’s second feature after 2013’s “They Die by Dawn,” a Black western starring Rosario Dawson and Giancarlo Esposito. Netflix has dated “The Harder They Fall” for a 2021 release. Sources say production is set to start soon.

The new additions bring major star power to an already starry title, as Majors is coming off a big year with a role in “Da 5 Bloods” opposite Lindo, and is currently rocking HBO with the wildly popular “Lovecraft Country” social horror series. Regina King just launched her “One Night in Miami” at the Venice Film Festival, where she made history as the first Black female director in the main slate. The film will next debut in North America at TIFF before Amazon Studios releases the drama into awards contention later this year.

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