Fresh off her role in ‘The Book of Clarence,’ Anna Diop will star opposite Corey Hawkins and Willem Dafoe in “The Man in My Basement,” directed by Nadia Latif. Andscape, a Black-led content studio from Disney-ESPN, is financing the project, set to release on Hulu.
Adapted from the Walter Mosley novel, the storyline revolves around Charles Blakey, portrayed by Hawkins, a resident of the African American neighborhood of Sag Harbor. Facing financial difficulties and on the brink of losing his ancestral home, Charles receives an intriguing proposition from a mysterious businessman, Anniston Bennet (played by Dafoe). The offer to rent out his basement for the summer promises to clear Charles’s debts, but it leads him down a chilling path that confronts his family’s ghosts and entangles the men in a perplexing puzzle touching on race, trauma, and the root of all evil.
Diop will play Narciss Gully, a local academic and antiques expert who is passionate about having African American histories told — particularly the history of African American women. “When she meets Charles Blakey and is introduced to what he pulls out of his basement,” the synopsis reads, “she realizes his family history may be what she’s always been looking for.”
Hawkins takes over the project from Jonathan Majors, who was originally attached to star in the project as well as executive produce it under his Tall Street Productions banner. Majors was dropped from the project in April 2023, nearly a month following his March assault charge.
The film reunites Diop with Hawkins, her co-star in the 2017 series “24: Legacy.”
Andscape, the Black-led content studio from Disney and ESPN, recently boarded “The Man in My Basement” as the financier. The production is a collaborative creative effort including B.O.B. FilmHouse (Mosley and producer Diane Houslin’s banner), Protagonist Pictures and Good Gate Media. The film will be released on Hulu via Andscape’s existing partnership with the streamer.