Variety is exclusively reporting that Benjamin Earl Turner, Atticus Woodward, Jaylen Barron and Candace Nicholas-Lippman have signed up to star alongside Jasmine Cephas Jones in the Blindspotting series at Starz, which has begun production in Oakland and Los Angeles.
The series, which will be a continuation of the 2018 film of the same name, will focus on Ashley, who was nipping at the heels of a middle class life in Oakland until Miles, her partner of twelve years and father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she’s forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister. Her world is turned upside down while the neighbourhood goes inside out, and she must renegotiate her relationship with a town that is caught between two conflicting identities.
The stars, writers and producers of the film, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, are also writing and executive producing the series, with Casal even reprising the role of Miles as recurring, as well as serve as showrunner. Jasmine Cephas Jones will serve as producer. Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder also serve as executive producers on the project under the Snoot Entertainment banner alongside Emily Gerson Saines, Ken Lee and Tim Palen of Barnyard Projects. Kathryn Tyus-Adair, Starz SVP of Original Programming, is overseeing the series on behalf of the network, with Maggie Leung overseeing on behalf of Lionsgate.
Rafael Casal released a statement saying:
Diggs and I are thrilled to continue our partnership with Lionsgate by expanding the Blindspotting world as a series on Starz. This story, the incredible cast and the production are a dream. We are making the kind of show we have long hoped to see on television, centred around just some of the amazing kinds of characters the Bay Area has to offer.
Daveed Diggs also released a statement saying:
Figuring out a way to bring The Bay to life in a half-hour comedy space has been so rewarding. Ultimately, this is a story about how a broken prison system affects all of us and, like the film, we’re using comedy to talk about very real systemic effects in the country with the largest prison population in the world.
Benjamin Earl Turner, musician and actor who will also serve as writer on the series, will be playing the role of Earl, who is fresh out of jail and wearing an ankle bracelet while doing a year of house arrest, just trying to kill time and lay low.
Atticus Woodward (whose credits include Shameless and Between You And Me) will be playing the role of Ashley and Mile’s sweet, smart and energetic son Sean, who was originally portrayed by Ziggy Baitinger.
Jaylen Barron (whose credits include Free Rein and Twelve Forever) will be playing the role of Miles’ younger half-sister, Trish, who might be wilder than he is. While she is quite a handful, she is the most loyal and loving person you’ll ever meet.
Candance Nicholas-Lippman (whose credits include Airport Security Guard and Good Trouble) will be playing the role of Janelle, Ashley’s close friend, who is equal parts TOWN as hell and worldly. She has just returned to the neighbourhood in Oakland after spending many years in Bali. Nicholas-Lippman was discovered for the role by Casal and Diggs through an open casting call and her spoken-word poetry.