André Holland, Kate Mara, Zazie Beetz, and Stephen McKinley Henderson are set to headline “The Dutchman,” a psychological thriller adapted from the Obie Award-winning play by Amiri Baraka. This highly anticipated project has recently secured a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement and is scheduled to commence production in New York City on September 25th.
Directed by André Gaines,”The Dutchman” promises to deliver a gripping cinematic experience. Set against the backdrop of a New York subway, the film revolves around the encounter between a prosperous Black man and an enchanting white woman. Their enthralling exchange escalates into a complex and sexualized game of cat and mouse, ultimately culminating in a violent conclusion. This adaptation of the stage show, which made its debut at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village, New York City, in March 1964, explores the intricacies of racial conflict in America. Notably, the play was originally penned by Amiri Baraka under the name LeRoi Jones during the height of the civil rights movement, before he became a pivotal figure in the Black arts movement. Baraka passed away in 2014, leaving behind a legacy of influential work.
Gaines, in a recent conversation with Deadline, reflected on the historical significance of this project and the transformative journey of Amiri Baraka. Gaines expressed his deep connection to stories rooted in historic times, places, and people, citing his previous work on “The One and Only Dick Gregory” and “After Jackie” as examples of his commitment to bringing such narratives to broader audiences.
Gaines, who attended NYU alongside André Holland, will produce “The Dutchman” through his multi-platform media company, Cinemation Studios. Joining him in production is Jonathan T. Baker, an Emmy nominee recognized for his contributions to projects like “Sylvie’s Love,” “The Banker,” and “Crown Heights.” Executive producers Joshua Blum and Han West, representing Washington Square Films, will contribute to the film’s success. UTA Independent Film Group will handle sales for the project.
André Holland, known for his versatile roles in various films and series, including “Passing,” will take on the lead role in “The Dutchman.” His upcoming projects include portraying Huey P. Newton in Apple’s miniseries “The Big Cigar,” as well as appearances in “Shirley,” “The Actor,” and “Exhibiting Forgiveness.” Kate Mara, fresh from her role in FX’s “Class of ’09,” is set to star alongside Morgan Freeman and Laurence Fishburne in “The Little Bedroom” and has joined the cast of the sci-fi thriller “The Astronaut.” Zazie Beetz, celebrated for her roles in “Atlanta,” “Joker,” and “The Harder They Fall,” continues to make her mark in the industry with projects like “Joker: Folie à Deux.” Stephen McKinley Henderson, a Tony Award nominee, boasts a notable filmography, including recent credits such as “Beau Is Afraid” and “Dune.”
“The Dutchman” promises to offer a thought-provoking exploration of themes related to race, power dynamics, and confrontation. As production commences, the film industry eagerly anticipates its release, expecting a captivating and impactful cinematic experience that delves into the complexities of racial conflict in America.