HBO Reveals Teaser And Premiere Date For Sundance Drama 'Native Son'

One of the biggest laughs I heard at Sundance last month came moments before the start of Native Son, the festival's opening night film. It was then that HBO's logo flashed before title credits, and the crowd burst into jeers. It was funny, I suppose, because it hadn't been long since A24 sold the distribution rights to HBO and already they had a header image ready to go. It was also a strange move for the successful company to partner up with the cable network, but one supposes they feel it's the best avenue for the adaptation of Richard Wright's seminal novel.

HBO has announced that Native Son will premiere on Saturday, April 6th at 10pm EST. The film stars Moonlight's Ashton Sanders in the role of Bigger Thomas, who in Wright's novel is a black man of little means or future because of race relations in the country at that time. The novel was penned in 1940, but the new film by director/visual artist Rashid Johnson and screenwriter Susan Lori-Parks modernizes it and changes much about Bigger's circumstances. It's one of the reasons why I didn't particularly care for the film, and I think some of the middling reviews are why HBO is debuting it at such a late hour.

Co-starring is a strong cast that includes Kiki Layne, Margaret Qualley, Sanaa Lathan, Nick Robinson, Elizabeth Marvel, Will Dalton, and David Alan Grier. 

Here's the synopsis followed by the Native Son teaser: NATIVE SON tells the story of Bigger Thomas (Ashton Sanders), a young African-American living in Chicago who is hired as a chauffeur for affluent businessman Will Dalton (Bill Camp, Emmy®-nominee for HBO’s “The Night Of”). As Thomas enters this seductive new world of money and power — including a precarious relationship with Dalton’s daughter, Mary (Margaret Qualley, HBO’s “The Leftovers”) — he faces unforeseen choices and perilous circumstances that will alter the course of his life forever. The cast also includes Nick Robinson, KiKi Layne, Elizabeth Marvel, David Alan Grier, and Sanaa Lathan.