A feature film adaptation of Richard Wright’s legendary book, Native Son, is in the works, and Sanaa Lathan has officially signed up to join the cast.  Lathan joins a cast including Ashton Sanders, Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson and Bill Camp, and the screenplay will be adapted by Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks with Rashid Johnson on board as director.

Wright’s powerful novel, Native Son, tells the story of Bigger Thomas (Ashton Sanders) who is caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, the story is a reflection of the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by black people people in inner cities across the country, and of what it means to be black in America.

Lathan will play Trudy Thomas, a widow who is doing her best to raise three children in a small and cramped but tidy Chicago apartment. When her new boyfriend helps arrange a job interview for her eldest son Bigger (Sanders) to work as a chauffeur for a local real estate magnate, a chain of events is triggered that will have devastating consequences for both families.

Lathan’s acting career spans over two decades.  She starred in classic films in the early 2000’s such as Love & Basketball, directed by Gina Prince-BythewoodDisappearing Acts, The Best Man, Brown Sugar, and Something New.  In addition to her film credits, she was a series regular in the second season of the Starz’ original series Bossstarring Kelsey Grammer, and was most recently seen in the Fox event series, Shots Fired, also directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Lathan recently wrapped production on the upcoming Netflix original film Nappily Ever After, and will star in the upcoming season of the Showtime hit series The Affair.