‘The Central Park Five’ Coming to Netflix in 2019: What We Know

Central Park Five – Picture from IMDb

A five-part drama series is coming to Netflix in 2019 that looks to recount the now notorious case of five teenagers convicted of a rape which they didn’t commit. It’s been in development for a while and here’s what we know about the series before its release next year. 

What’s the series about?

The series looks to recreate the events of the criminal case of “The Central Park Five.” Five African-Americans were blamed for the rape and assault of a jogger in Central Park in Manhatten, New York.

The series isn’t a documentary as much as a dramatization of the story. If you’re looking for a documentary, Ken Burns released one in 2012.


How many episodes will there be?

Although four episodes are reported on IMDb, there are in fact, five episodes in Season 1 of Central Park Five.


Who’s behind the series?

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for TIDAL

The limited series will come from Ava DuVerney, a movie/TV industry veteran. She’s served as a producer, director, and writer and she’ll be appearing as all three on The Central Park Five. Some of the credits to her name include Selma (currently on Netflix UK), A Wrinkle in Time (currently on Netflix US) and Middle of Nowhere.

This isn’t her first project with Netflix either. She had a hand in the 2016 Netflix Original documentary 13th, which scored an Oscar nomination.


Casting for Central Park Five

The cast for the title was announced earlier in 2018 with a range of different actors and actresses selected. There’s a few you’ll definitely recognise but others who may not have been on your radar.

Actor/ActressPlaysKnown for
Jovan AdepoAntron McCrayFences, Overlord, The Leftovers
Blair UnderwoodBobby BurnsDeep Impact, Rules of Engagement
Famke JanssenNancy RyanHemlock Grove, X-Men
Joshua JacksonMickey JosephThe Affair, D2: The Mighty Ducks
Marsha Stephanie BlakeLinda McCrayOrange is the New Black
Marsha Stephanie BlakeKylie BunburyPitch, Game Night, Under the Dome
Chris ChalkYusef Salaam12 Years a Slave, Gotham

Netflix’s Twitter account called “Strong Black Lead” also Tweeted back in August with the names of additional actresses involved in the project.

Here are a few other Tweets from cast members either announcing their involvement or showing the development of the series.

https://twitter.com/ReeceNoi/status/1060234985855057920

https://twitter.com/TheFilmCulture/status/1058565175312351233

You can see a full cast list available on IMDb.


Where is the series in production?

The series was first announced during the summer of 2017 so it will have been in development for two years by the time it arrives. The casting was completed in July 2018. Filming began in August 2018 and wrapped in November 2018.


Will Donald Trump make an appearance?

Donald Trump, the current President of the United States plays a role in this story, too, and talk of it has resurfaced in recent years. In fact, when people claim the US President is racist, this case is often presented as being major evidence.

Looking through the cast, no one is set to play the real estate mogul, but he may be mentioned in passing or have some role to play in the series.

It’s also worth mentioning that Ava on Twitter has mentioned Donald Trump by name when referring to her new title.


More pictures from the series

Marquis Rodriguez in Central Park Five

Vera Farmiga in Central Park Five

Interrogation scene in Central Park Five


Will there be a Season 2 of The Central Park Five?

No. As we’ve stated above, this is a limited series. Netflix has produced several of these in the past and hasn’t ever gone back on their word in producing a second season. Given the show is following real-world events, it’s safe to assume the entire story will be covered in Season 1.


When will the series be released on Netflix?

No release date has been announced as of yet. With production now finished, we’re expecting it to release in early 2019.


Are you looking forward to this new series? Let us know in the comments.

Kasey Moore

Kasey Moore is the founder and editor-in-chief of What's on Netflix. Kasey launched the site in 2013 after growing frustration with finding content on Netflix. He has an in depth understanding of the release cycles for Netflix and has developed tools to make navigating Netflix easier. Resides in Norwich in the UK.