Writer Justin Simien's story is one straight out of the "I'm going to get this movie made no matter what" playbook. Simien took his hard-earned tax refund to create a concept trailer for his 2014 hit movie, Dear White People, and then used crowdfunding to make the film.
The movie garnered a huge film-festival response, and when it was released nationwide, it was a box office hit. Now it's coming to Netflix as a 30-minute comedy series.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of the Lionsgate Television series, which, in the same vein as the movie, will follow a group of black students as they navigate the lily-white hallways of an Ivy League college.
"During the film's release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time," Simien said. "I'm so grateful to have this platform—not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views. From Day 1, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I'd imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don't take lightly.”
There's no word on whether or not the original cast will appear in the series, but Simien will write the episodes and direct the first one. The series will be executive-produced by Devon Shepard, Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev.
The series will debut on Netflix in 2017.