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HBO to Adapt Coates’ ‘Between the World and Me’

(Image credit: HBO)

HBO will adapt the stage show Between the World and Me, which is based on the book by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It will air this fall as a special event. 

The book was adapted and staged by the Apollo Theater in New York in 2018. The special will be directed by Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes. Coates and Susan Kelechi Watson, star of This Is Us, are also executive producers and Roger Ross Williams is producing. 

The HBO production will feature documentary footage from the actors’ home lives, archival footage and animation.  

“Ta-Nehisi’s book is a modern literary classic that provides an essential message for our times,” says Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. “We are tremendously proud to bring this incredibly important event to our audiences.”

Between the World and Me, published by One World in 2015, is written as a letter to Coates’ teenage son and recounts the author’s experiences growing up in Baltimore and his growing fear of violence against the Black community. 

Coates’ other books include The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power and The Water Dancer.

“I’ve been working with Kamilah for almost as long as I’ve been a writer,” said Coates. “I can think of no one better to put Between the World and Me on screen and no better home for it than HBO.”

The stage adaptation based on Between the World and Me was originally performed in 2018 at the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center, and ran in Atlanta in 2019. 

“As people across our country continue to speak out about violent, systemic racism and the urgent need for tangible change, Ta-Nehisi’s words resonate as strongly today as they did five years ago,” said Forbes. 

Williams’ production company One Story Up produces.