Ava DuVernay Announces the Cast of Upcoming Netflix Miniseries 'The Central Park Five'

Ava DuVernay at the Vulture Festival, 2018
Ava DuVernay attends Day Two of the Vulture Festival Presented By AT&T at Milk Studios on May 20, 2018 in New York City. DuVernay will act as writer, director, and executive producer of 'The Central Park Five.' Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time, Oscar-nominated 13th, Selma) started casting for her limited Netflix miniseries, The Central Park Five.

Netflix announced the series in July 2017 and confirmed some of the cast members. Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, and John Leguizamo will feature as prominent roles in the series.

The four-part drama, based on a true story, will center around the notorious case of The Central Park Five, when five Harlem teenagers—Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise—were wrongly convicted for the brutal rape of a jogger in Central Park in 1989. The case quickly became a tabloid frenzy, which ended in the conviction and sentencing of the teenagers.

Williams, a two time Emmy nominee, (The Wire, The Night Of), will portray Bobby McCray, the devoted father of Antron McCray, Entertainment Tonight Online reported on Monday. Oscar nominee Farmiga (Up in the Air, Bates Motel) is set to play Manhattan Assistant D.A., Elizabeth Lederer, the lead prosecutor on the case against the five teenagers. Emmy winner and Special Tony Award winner, Leguizamo (Bloodline), will portray Raymond Santana Sr., father of Raymond Santana.

One of The Central Park Five, Raymond Santana
Raymond Santana, a featured subject in the 2013 documentary, "The Central Park Five," speaks onstage during the PBS portion of the 2013 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour on January 14, 2013 in Pasadena, California. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The rest of the cast has not yet been announced.

DuVernay confirmed these castings on her Instagram Monday, with a Frederick Douglass quote as the caption: "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."

The story will follow the young men from when they were first questioned in 1989 to 2014 when the five, now grown men, were exonerated and released after another man confessed to the crime.

The Central Park Five sued the city of New York in 2014, winning a $40 million settlement that equaled $1 million for every year they collectively spent behind bars for a crime they did not commit.

DuVernay, who will act as executive producer of the series along with Oprah Winfrey, also directed and co-wrote each episode. The Central Park Five is currently in pre-production in New York, Deadline reported Monday, with filming to begin in August 2018.

The Central Park Five will premiere on Netflix for a limited time in 2019.