THE BIG PICTURE
Bayard Rustin was a formidable activist who was the driving force behind the legendary March on Washington, fighting for the fundamental rights of Black Americans. Rustin was a captivating personality, fully aware that a protest’s strength was proportional to the number of participants. This upcoming biographical film, ‘Rustin,’ features a star-studded ensemble and comes courtesy of producers Barack and Michelle Obama. The film will hit theaters on November 3, 2023, before making its Netflix debut on November 17, 2023.
Mark today on your calendars as a day of historic significance. Sixty years ago, Washington D.C. was the stage for a monumental protest featuring iconic individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., all united in the pursuit of basic human rights for Black Americans. However, none of this would have come to fruition without a particular individual. To commemorate this milestone, Netflix has released the inaugural trailer for ‘Rustin,’ a film that narrates the life of the man responsible for coordinating this epochal event: Bayard Rustin, portrayed by Colman Domingo.
The teaser of ‘Rustin’ establishes unequivocally that Bayard Rustin was an activist to his core. An openly gay Black man, he was acutely conscious of the systemic bias of the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies against both these communities. Rustin decided it was time to quit being a passive observer of recurring injustices. His activism reached its pinnacle when he organized a march that drew a quarter of a million people to the nation’s capital to voice their concerns.
The teaser also elucidates that Rustin was not a man to underestimate. Overflowing with charisma and laden with wisdom, he knew precisely what strings to pull to encourage people to participate in the march. Recognizing that the size of the crowd could render the protest unignorable, he launched an impassioned campaign to amass supporters from all walks of life—rich or poor, young or old—because the event was quite literally history in the making.
![Image via Netflix]
A Galaxy of Stars Animates ‘Rustin’
Not to be overshadowed, the trailer for ‘Rustin’ also unveils its celebrity-heavy cast that contributes to translating this real-life drama onto the screen. Apart from Colman Domingo in the lead role, the cast includes Aml Ameen as Martin Luther King Jr., Jeffrey Wright as Adam Clayton Powell, Audra McDonald as Ella Baker, Chris Rock as Roy Wilkins, Glynn Turman as A. Philip Randolph, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Mahalia Jackson, and Michael Potts as Cleveland Robinson.
Produced by power couple Barack and Michelle Obama, the film’s screenplay is penned by Julian Breece of ‘When They See Us’ and Dustin Lance Black of ‘Milk.’ Helming this Oscar-worthy biopic is five-time Tony award winner and director of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ George C. Wolfe.
‘Rustin’ makes its theatrical premiere on November 3 and will subsequently be globally accessible on Netflix starting November 17. Check out the trailer and the official synopsis below:
The mastermind of the groundbreaking 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin was undeniably one of the most exceptional activists and strategists the world has ever seen. A defiant force of nature, Rustin never minced words about who he was, what he believed in, or whom he loved. Unyielding in his pursuits, he became an integral part of history, yet surprisingly remains a largely forgotten figure. Under the direction of the multi-award-winning George C. Wolfe and starring the Emmy Award-winning Colman Domingo, ‘Rustin’ finally turns the spotlight on this remarkable individual who stood shoulder to shoulder with luminaries like Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker, envisioning a world unshackled from oppression as they marched steadfastly towards freedom.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bayard Rustin biopic
What is the film ‘Rustin’ about?
‘Rustin’ is a biographical film that focuses on Bayard Rustin, the activist who organized the groundbreaking 1963 March on Washington. The film explores his activism, his role in the civil rights movement, and his personal life as an openly gay Black man.
Who is producing the film?
The film is produced by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
When will ‘Rustin’ be released?
‘Rustin’ is set to premiere in theaters on November 3, 2023. It will also become available for streaming on Netflix on November 17, 2023.
Who stars in the film?
The film features a star-studded cast including Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin, Aml Ameen as Martin Luther King Jr., Jeffrey Wright as Adam Clayton Powell, Audra McDonald as Ella Baker, Chris Rock as Roy Wilkins, and many more.
Is this film expected to be an Oscar contender?
While it’s too early to say definitively, the film is considered Oscar material based on its subject matter, production team, and ensemble cast.
What issues does the film tackle?
‘Rustin’ dives into various social issues including civil rights, racial discrimination, and LGBTQ+ rights. It portrays Rustin’s struggle against systemic bias from the U.S. government and law enforcement.
Is this a Netflix Original movie?
Yes, after its theatrical release, ‘Rustin’ will be available globally on Netflix starting November 17, 2023.
Who directed ‘Rustin’?
The film is directed by George C. Wolfe, a five-time Tony Award winner known for directing ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’
Who wrote the screenplay for ‘Rustin’?
The screenplay is penned by Julian Breece, known for ‘When They See Us,’ and Dustin Lance Black, known for ‘Milk.’
Why is the film considered “history in the making”?
The film is seen as monumental because it shines a light on a largely overlooked but vital figure in American civil rights history, Bayard Rustin, who was a critical force behind the 1963 March on Washington.