Variety reports that Anna Diop has been announced as joining Walking Dead and The Color Purple. Corey Hawkins and four-time Oscar nominee Willem Defoe are in The Man in My Basement, a movie directed by Nadia Latif. Deadline first reported Hawkins' inclusion in January 2023, soon after the premiere of The Color Purple musical adaptation in which he stars.
The project, Latif's directorial debut, is financed by Andscape, the Black-led content studio of Disney and ESPN, and is an adaption of Walter Mosley's novel. Hawkins, who replaced Jonathan Majors in the role of Charles Blakey in the movie, will also executive produce the project.
The story follows Charles, who lives 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.” He receives a proposition from Anniston Bennet (Dafoe), a mysterious businessman, to earn money to clear his debts by allowing Bennet to live in his basement. Upon acceptance of the deal, Charles must face his family's ghosts and see the men locked in a terrifying puzzle whose heart is race, "the source of their traumas, and the root of all evil.”
Anna Diop will play a local academic and antiques expert, Narciss Gully. She shows great passion for telling African-American histories, especially those of African-American females. When she is introduced to Charles and what he finds in his basement, she believes his family's history is what she has been looking for.
Diop recently starred in Jeymes Samuel's The Book of Clarence. She has also starred in Titans, Us, and Greenleaf.
The Man in My Basement will release on Hulu as part of Andscape's partnership with the streamer.