A series based on the critically-acclaimed indie film, Blindspotting, is in development at Starz. The project hails from Lionsgate TV. Lionsgate was the distributor of the original film which was written by and starred Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.
Jasmine Cephas Jones, who portrayed Ashley in the original film, will star in the lead role for the series. Casal and Diggs will write and produce the series version, which would be a half-hour drama.
According to Variety, who broke the news, the series would focus on her character, “who was nipping at the heels of a middle class life in Oakland until Miles, her partner of 12 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 neighborhood goes inside out, and she must renegotiate her relationship with a town that is caught between two conflicting identities.”
It has been billed as a “spinoff,” in the original report. It is unknown if the series will acknowledge the film in anyway or if the series’ events would take place before or after the film.
Casal and Diggs spoke to Shadow And Act in January 2018 about their decade-long process of bringing the film to the big screen. “One of our producers found Rafael through a YouTube wormhole. They found a bunch of his poetry. I’d approached [Rafael] about writing a script using some of the same techniques that he used in his poems. A couple of years later, I was introduced to producers Jess [Calder] and Keith [Calder] because of a gig they had asked Rafael to do. He couldn’t make it, so I went and filled in. The four of us started speaking, and we decided we would start writing a film. The prompt was it would be about Oakland, it would be about the Bay, and it would star the two of us. Right after that, Oscar Grant was killed. We knew a film about Oakland had to encompass that.”
Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder’s Snoot Entertainment, produced the film and will executive produce the series with Emily Gerson Saines, Ken Lee and Tim Palen.
Most known for her dual roles in Hamilton on Broadway, Jones (daughter of This Is Us star Ron Cephas Jones) has been expanding more into television and film. She’s also appeared in Monsters and Men opposite John David Washington and will star in next year’s The Photograph alongside Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield.
Blindspotting would be her first major TV role, though she has been on several series such as Midnight, Texas and is set for upcoming ones like Mrs. Fletcher and #Freerayshawn.
Photo: Getty Images
From Harlem to Hollywood, get the Black entertainment news you need in your inbox daily.