Everything we know about Netflix’s civil rights biopic ‘Rustin
(Credit: Netflix)


Everything we know about Netflix's civil rights biopic ‘Rustin

In the annals of history, countless unsung heroes fought passionately for justice, yet their stories have remained largely obscured from the public eye. One such remarkable figure is Bayard Rustin, a pivotal force in the civil rights movement, whose legacy is finally receiving the recognition it deserves. 

The upcoming biopic Rustin promises to shine a light on the openly gay civil rights leader, and it is set to feature a star-studded cast, visionary director, and the executive involvement of none other than the Obamas themselves.

Colman Domingo, the Emmy-winning actor, will portray Bayard Rustin in the film directed by George C. Wolfe from a screenplay by Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black. 

Netflix has released the first stills from the film as we gear up for a November release. Here’s is else everything we know about Rustin so far:

What is Rustin about?

Bayard Rustin, the mastermind behind the historic 1963 March on Washington, was not just a civil rights activist but also an openly gay African American man. Despite facing discrimination, he remained unapologetically true to himself and his beliefs. Rustin’s courage, determination, and unyielding commitment to the fight for equality set him apart as one of history’s greatest activists and organisers. However, despite his immense contributions, Rustin’s name had largely been forgotten over time.

The film Rustin seeks to rectify this oversight. The movie’s narrative promises to delve deep into Rustin’s life, highlighting his integral role in shaping the civil rights movement and his influential alliance with iconic figures like Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker.

Who are the cast and crew on Rustin?

This marks Domingo’s first leading role in a feature film, and we hope his undeniable talent ensures that Rustin’s character will be brought to life with the utmost authenticity and reverence.

Supporting Domingo in this ambitious project is a star-studded ensemble cast that includes Chris Rock as Roy Wilkins, Glynn Turman as A. Philip Randolph, Aml Ameen as Martin Luther King Jr., Gus Halper, CCH Pounder as Dr. Anna Hedgeman, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Johnny Ramey, Michael Potts, Lilli Kay, Jordan-Amanda Hall, Jakeem Powell, Grantham Coleman, Jamilah Rosemond, Jules Latimer, Maxwell Whittington-Cooper, Frank Harts, Kevin Mambo, Carra Patterson, Bill Irwin, Cotter Smith, Adrienne Warren, with Jeffrey Wright as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Audra McDonald as Ella Baker.

George C. Wolfe, who is helming the biopic, is a fifteen-time Tony Award nominated and three time-winning director. Known for his work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Angels in America, Wolfe’s direction will hopefully infuse the film with depth and nuance.

The creative team behind Rustin is just as impressive as its cast and director. Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen and Tonia Davis are the film’s producers, spearheading the project with unwavering dedication. However, one name on the executive producer list stands out: Higher Ground’s Barack and Michelle Obama.

When will Rustin be released?

Rustin is slated to hit select theatres on November 3rd, with a Netflix release scheduled for November 17th. This strategic timing is particularly significant, as 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, the landmark event that Bayard Rustin orchestrated.