Anna Diop (“Nanny,” “The Book of Clarence”) has signed on to star opposite Corey Hawkins and Willem Dafoe in “The Man in My Basement,” directed by Nadia Latif.
The film is an adaptation of Walter Mosley’s bestselling psychological thriller, and Diop’s casting sets an onscreen reunion with Hawkins, her co-star in the 2017 series “24: Legacy.”
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Hawkins stars in the movie as Charles Blakey, a man living in the African American neighborhood of Sag Harbor, who is “out of work, out of luck and on the verge of foreclosure on his ancestral home.”
“A knock on the door from a mysterious white businessman, Anniston Bennet (Dafoe), brings a bizarre and lucrative proposition; rent his dusty stand-up basement out and receive enough money to clear his debts for good,” the official synopsis explains. “Once Charles accepts, he finds himself led down a terrifying path that confronts his family’s ghosts and locks the men in a terrifying puzzle, at the heart of it race, the source of their traumas, 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.”
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.
The project comes following Diop’s starring role in Jeymes Samuel’s “The Book of Clarence,” which premiered at the London Film Festival in October and hit theaters last month. She also earned rave reviews as the headliner of Nikyatu Jusu’s “Nanny,” which won the Sundance grand jury prize in 2022. Diop earned a Gotham Award nomination for her performance, as well the Spotlight Award at the 2022 Newport Beach Film Festival. The Senegalese American actor is also known for her work on the DC Universe superhero series “Titans” for Max, Jordan Peele’s “Us” and the OWN drama “Greenleaf.”
Diop is represented by CAA, M88, The Lede Company and Jackoway Austen.
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