Aldis Hodge and Lauren E. Banks have joined the cast of the upcoming film “The Dutchman,” a psychological thriller adapted from Amiri Baraka’s Obie Award-winning play. This highly anticipated project began production in New York City on September 25th under a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement.
They join previously cast André Holland, Kate Mara, Zazie Beetz, and Stephen McKinley Henderson. André Gaines, an Emmy nominee known for his work on “The One and Only Dick Gregory,” is directing from a screenplay co-authored with filmmaker Qasim Basir.
The film is a gripping exploration of an encounter on a New York subway between a prosperous Black man and an enchanting white woman. Their interaction escalates into a complex and sexualized game of cat and mouse, ultimately leading to a violent conclusion. This narrative is a potent examination of racial conflict in America.
The original stage show of “The Dutchman” premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village, New York City, in March 1964. Its powerful themes and storytelling were later adapted into a critically acclaimed 1966 film featuring Shirley Knight and Al Freeman Jr.
This will be the second time Hodge and Banks work together as both previously starred in Showtime’s series ‘City on a Hill.’
Banks also brings a unique perspective to the project. Having studied under the guidance of Al Freeman Jr., one of her acting professors at Howard University, Banks finds inspiration in the legacy of revolutionary artists. She describes “The Dutchman” script as fresh, ambitious, and daring, embodying the spirit of the art created during the Black Arts Movement. It not only pays homage to American theater but also embraces the voices, changes, and resolutions of our time.
Behind the scenes André Gaines and Emmy nominee Jonathan T. Baker, known for their work on “Sylvie’s Love” and “The Banker,” serve as producers. The film’s financing comes from Gaines’ multi-platform media company, Cinemation Studios, in collaboration with E.O.A Productions. E.O.A Productions, known for their work on the soundtrack for Gaines’ Showtime documentary “The One and Only Dick Gregory,” is also involved in the project. Further executive producers include Nicole A. Parke and Enoch K. Osei-Acheampong, co-founders and executive board members of E.O.A. Productions, alongside Kyle Townsend, Matt Rachamkin, Joshua Blum, and Han West for Washington Square Films, with UTA Independent Film Group handling sales.
“The Dutchman” promises to be a thought-provoking and powerful cinematic exploration of race, conflict, and societal dynamics in America. It stands as a testament to the impactful work of Amiri Baraka, who originally penned the play during the height of the civil rights movement before becoming a pivotal figure in the Black arts movement. Baraka’s legacy continues to inspire artists and audiences alike, and this adaptation aims to honor his profound contributions.