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‘Insecure’ Star Issa Rae Joins Drama ‘The Hate U Give’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Insecure” creator and star Issa Rae has joined Fox 2000’s coming-of-age drama “The Hate U Give” opposite Amandla Stenberg, Variety has learned exclusively.

George Tillman Jr. is directing from Audrey Wells’ script, adapted from Angela Thomas’ debut novel of the same name.

Additional cast members include Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, and Common. Rae will play April, the activist that helps Stenberg’s character find her voice and speak up.

Stenberg plays a 16-year-old girl named Starr who grew up in a poverty-stricken area, but now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she’s torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth.

The film’s rights to “The Hate U Give” were picked up by Fox 2000, Temple Hill, and State Street in a competitive situation in 2016. Thomas’ book, bought by HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray after 13 publishing houses bid on it at auction, was published Feb. 28 and has spent 22 weeks on the New York Times young adult best-seller list after debuting at No. 1.

Rae and Larry Wilmore created HBO’s “Insecure,” which follows the friendship of two black women as they deal with their own real-life flaws and a seemingly endless series of uncomfortable everyday experiences. Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, and Lisa Joyce star in the show, which returned for its eight-episode second season on July 23 and was renewed for a third season on Aug. 8.

Rae also executive produces “Insecure” along with showrunner Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky, and Jonathan Berry. She is represented by UTA and 3 Arts.

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