Netflix has given the green light to Dear White People, a 10-episode series based on the 2014 feature-length film of the same name.
Dear White People centered on a group of four black students on the majority-white Ivy League campus of the fictional Winchester University. The film was a smash hit at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it picked up the special jury award for breakthrough talent.
Justin Simien, writer and director of the feature film, will produce the new 10-episode half-hour series and will direct the first episode, according to Variety. Production is reportedly set to begin later this year for a 2017 worldwide premiere on Netflix.
“Justin is a gifted storyteller whose bold, unique vision is perfectly suited to Netflix,” Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at the streaming giant, said in a statement. “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.”
“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 in his own statement. “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 one, 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.”
Lionsgate Television will produce the series, which does not yet have an official release date.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum