Higher Ground Productions, founded by former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, will produce another film for Netflix as part of its overall deal with the channel. Rustin will tell the story of Bayard Rustin, the late civil rights activist. The latter helped organize the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King delivered his great “I Have a Dream” speech.
The Netflix film Rustin is directed by Emmy nominee George C. Wolfe, who recently directed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for Netflix, starring the late Chadwick Boseman. Rustin’s screenplay was written by Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar in 2008 for his film Milk, starring Sean Penn.
Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan will produce for Higher Ground Productions along with Oscar winner Bruce Cohen. Below is everything we know about the Netflix series Rustin.
What is the plot of Rustin?
The Netflix film Rustin is based on the life of the late civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, a strategist, and activist who spent more than half a century promoting nonviolent strategies for social change. He is best known for organizing the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, which was the basis for Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
A past sometimes hampered his work that many considered controversial. These included his membership in the Communist Youth League, a three-year prison sentence for refusing to cooperate with the military on conscience grounds, and his open homosexuality, which led to his arrest for vagrancy.
Senator Strom Thurmond condemned Rustin on the Senate floor before the 1963 march. Rustin died in 1987 after a visit to Haiti, where he explored the possibility of democratic change in the context of the current election.
President Obama posthumously awarded Bayard Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Who are Rustin’s stakeholders?
In July 2021, we learned that Colman Domingo was considered for the lead role. The 51-year-old is known for his roles in Fear The Walking Dead, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Candyman. Other names being analyzed for the role include Chris Rock.
Netflix has cast several roles, including Elias Taylor. He is not based on a natural person but will be one of the organizers. Roy Wilkins is a real-life character who will appear in the film. Wilkins was a civil rights activist and president of the NAACP. The series will also be A. Philip Randolph, an American trade unionist, and civil rights activist.
In October 2021, the complete cast list for the Netflix series Rustin was released.
What is the production status of Rustin?
Netflix’s feature film about Rustin is expected to go into production in the summer of 2021, according to Production Weekly 1253. Filming will take place in Pittsburgh and Ohio.
Filming is expected to begin in August 2021 and end in November. Actual filming has started a little later than expected, in September 2021, so filming will continue until mid-December.
In October 2021, Colman Domingo spoke about the film on Pittsburgh’s 100.7 Star. He talked about the scope of the film and explained that the production is recruiting thousands of extras:
“We need thousands of extras (actors). And in our program, we don’t even call them backgrounds. We call them background actors. We need many people, a lot of bodies—Black, white, old, young. I still think being a background artist is good training. You get to see how an ensemble works…”.
We saw several eyewitnesses to the footage during the film, including the Pittsburgh Port Authority, who informed everyone that while most bus routes were rerouted, some slightly older buses took their place on Sixth Street.
When will Rustin be released?
Netflix has not still set a date for Rustin, but the release is usually scheduled for 2022.