By Matt Grobar
EXCLUSIVE: Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You), four-time Emmy nominee CCH Pounder (The Shield), Michael Potts (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Bill Irwin (Legion), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Gus Halper (Fear the Walking Dead), Johnny Ramey (Poz Roz), Carra Patterson (Turner & Hooch), and Adrienne Warren (The Woman King) have joined the cast of Rustin, the latest film directed for Netflix by George C. Wolfe.
They’ll appear alongside previously announced cast members Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman and Audra McDonald.
The film penned by Wolfe and Dustin Lance Black (Milk, When We Rise) tells the story of charismatic, gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (Domingo), who overcame an onslaught of obstacles, and altered the course of American history by organizing the 1963 March on Washington.
Ameen has been tapped to play Martin Luther King Jr., with Patterson portraying his wife, author, activist and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King. Pounder will play civil rights leader, politician, educator, and writer, Dr. Anna Hedgeman, with Potts as labor organizer and civil rights activist Cleveland Robinson, Irwin as clergyman and politician activist A.J. Muste, Warren as Claudia Taylor, Halper as Tom and Ramey as Elias.
For Wolfe and Netflix, Rustin comes on the heels of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the historical drama, which scored Oscars for costume design and makeup and hairstyling, along with noms for Best Actor (Chadwick Boseman), Best Actress (Viola Davis) and Best Achievement in Production Design. The project also marks the first feature film to be produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground banner, which entered into a multi-year deal with the streamer back in 2018, nabbing a Best Documentary Oscar and an Emmy for American Factory last year.
Oscar winner Bruce Cohen (American Beauty) is producing alongside Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis, with Higher Ground’s Mark R. Wright and Alex G. Scott exec producing.
Ameen is represented by UTA, Link Entertainment, The Artists Partnership (UK) and Brecheen Feldman Breimer; Pounder by by Mitchell K. Stubbs of Mitchell K. Stubbs & Associates; Potts by Artists & Representatives and Blue Ridge Entertainment; Irwin by Innovative Artists and Viking Entertainment; Randolph by Paradigm, Lighthouse Entertainment and Fox Rothschild; Halper by Gersh and Authentic Talent and Literary Management; Ramey by Luber Roklin and Endorse Management Group; Patterson by Innovative Artists, Robyn Bluestone Management and Meyer & Downs; Warren by Gersh, Perennial Entertainment, and Peikoff Mahan Low Office.