*The 2014 crowd-funded film “Dear White People” will be turned into a comedy series for Netflix, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Screenwriter-director Justin Simien is stretching his property into a 10-episode, 30-minute series from Lionsgate Television. Like the film, the series will follow a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug.
The series is a send up of “post-racial” America that also weaves a universal story about forging one’s own unique path.
According to THR, Simien will write the series and direct the first episode. Devon Shepard (House of Lies; Weeds), Stephanie Allain Bray (Dear White People) and Julia Lebedev (Dear White People) will exec produce the series, which will begin this year for a debut in 2017.
No word if any of the movie’s original cast — including Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson and Dennis Haysbert — will reprise their roles for the small screen.
“During the film’s release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time,” Simien said. “I’m so grateful to have this platform — not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views. From Day 1, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I’d imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don’t take lightly.”