Justin Simien’s “Dear White People” Netflix series, based on Simien’s film of the same name, just added two key cast members.
Brandon P. Bell will reprise his role as Troy Fairbanks, a political science student campaigning to become the first black student president of his mostly white school, Winchester University.
Logan Browning, last seen in “Powers” on Sony’s PlayStation Network and VH1’s “Hit the Floor,” will play Samantha White, the biracial student at Winchester whose “Dear White People” radio show and “Ebony and Ivy” book put her in high demand for a spokesperson position at a number of black student groups. The trouble is, Sam is still figuring out how to speak for herself. Tessa Thompson originated the role in the movie.
There’s no word yet on whether any of the movie’s other stars, including Dennis Haysbert as Troy’s father and Tyler James Williams as gay black student Lionel Higgins, will return for the series.
Lionsgate, the studio behind Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” is producing the series, which will debut on Netflix in 2017 with 10 half-hour episodes. Simien will write all 10 and direct the first episode (he also directed the film). Yvette Lee Bowser (“Black-ish,” “A Different World,” “Living Single”), Stephanie Allain (“Hustle & Flow,” “Dear White People”) and Julia Lebedev (“The Dinner,” “Dear White People”) also serve as executive producers.
Lionsgate sister company Roadside Attractions released the film in 2014; it earned rave reviews at Sundance and grossed $4.4 million in its limited release.