'Native Son' Trailer: 'Moonlight' Star Ashton Sanders Stuns In HBO Sundance Drama

One of HBO's splashiest acquisitions at the Sundance Film Festival this year was Native Son, a modern retelling of Richard Wright's 1940 novel of the same name. Starring Moonlight star Ashton Sanders, the film was initially set be distributed theatrically by A24, but after a buzzy premiere at the film festival in January, HBO swooped in. The cable network has released a new Native Son trailer revealing the premiere date of the captivating drama.

Native Son Trailer

Sanders stars as Bigger "Big" Thomas, a young man from Chicago who gets hired as the driver for a wealthy businessman. However, as he gets enmeshed in the "other side" of wealth and power, it leads him down a path that will ultimately lead to tragedy. Native Son is a retelling of Wright's 1940 novel, which delved into the systemic nature of black crime, though has received criticism for perpetuating stereotypes. While critics pointed out that these problems linger in the modern-day retelling, Sanders has received nothing but praise for his lead performance.

Following his breakout role in 2016's Moonlight, Ashton Sanders is having quite the 2019, starring in the buzzy drama Native Son and the sci-fi blockbuster Captive State. His performance in Native Son especially seemed to wow critics at the Sundance Film Festival, including /Film's Ben Pearson who wrote in his review, "Sanders imbues Big with a sense of quiet curiosity. We discover he's well-read, loves Beethoven, dislikes politics, and refuses to participate in his friend's planned robbery because he doesn't want to become another statistic."

The supporting cast also includes fellow Barry Jenkins alum and If Beale Street Could Talke breakout Kiki Layne, as well as Nick Robinson, Elizabeth Marvel, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Sanaa Lathan.

Here is the synopsis for Native Son:

Bigger Thomas (Sanders), is a young African-American living in Chicago who is hired as a chauffeur for affluent businessman Will Dalton (Bill Camp). As Thomas enters this seductive new world of money and power — including a precarious relationship with Dalton's daughter, Mary (Margaret Qualley) — he faces unforeseen choices and perilous circumstances that will alter the course of his life forever.

Native Son premieres on HBO on April 6, 2019.