Several months ago it was announced that Justin Simien was transforming his hit indie feature film Dear White People into a Netflix series. Then came news of some of the cast members, with Brandon P. Bell reprising his role as Troy Fairbanks, and Logan Browning (Tyler Perry‘s Meet The Browns and VH1’s Hit The Floor) taking the role of Sam White (which originally belonged to Tessa Thompson).
Now, the forthcoming series has added a veteran actress to its cast — Nia Long.
In a report from Deadline, Long is now the latest to join Dear White People. She’ll take on the role of recurring character Neika Hobbs, who’s described as an African American studies professor at Winchester University with a whip smart intellect and unflappable confidence, whose pulled together professional life contrasts a more complicated personal one.
Alongside Bell, Browning and Long, other cast members include Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori, Marque Richardson and Ashley Blaine Featherson. If you’ve seen Dear White People you already know that Bell and Browning are central characters to the narrative.
Bell’s Fairbanks is a student campaigning to become Winchester University’s first black student president, while Browning’s White is a biracial film major at Winchester, whose radio show “Dear White People” lands her a spot in a campus political movement. Several black student groups want her as their spokesperson, but Sam is still learning to speak for herself at the fictional prestigious and predominantly white university.
Dear White People will be a 10 episode pilot season that’s slated to drop some time next year. The Netflix series will follow a similar narrative to its film counterpart, which is based on Simien’s own experiences at a predominantly white school. Simien will write the series and direct several episodes; Lionsgate Television (who also co-released the film two years ago) will produce the show, with Devon Shepard, Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev all serving as executive producers.