SpIke Lee is teaming up with two NYU protégés for a new time travel movie on Netflix.
See You Yesterday is the directorial debut of Lee’s long-time NYU Graduate Film School protege, Stefon Bristol, who co-wrote the script with Fredrica Bailey while both were still graduate students at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Bristol and Bailey landed success with the short film of the same name in 2017. The short won The Best HBO Short Film Award at Martha’s Vineyard-African American Film Festival and was a finalist at the HBO Short Film Competition at the American Black Film Festival. Through this, Bristol was able to license the short film to HBO and affiliate networks, via HBO Go and HBO Now. It is currently on the Cinemax streaming platform, Max Go.
Now, it’s getting the feature film treatment, with Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Inc backing an expanded version of the drama. The story follows two Brooklyn teen science prodigies, Claudette “C.J.” Walker and Sebastian J. Thomas, who build make-shift time machines to save C.J.’s brother, Calvin, from being wrongfully killed by a police officer. The film is produced by Lee and stars Eden-Duncan Smith (Roxanne Roxanne) and newcomer Danté Crichlow.
“I started this project when Mike Brown and Eric Gardner were murdered. That was in 2014. And we are still dealing with deadly police misconduct. I made this film because I don’t want the conversation on police brutality to slow down,” says Bristol. “I’ve never seen a film quite like this before – a sci-fi movie with brilliant Black teenagers. CJ and Sebastian represent a Brooklyn that we rarely get to see. CJ is a no-nonsense, brutally honest, aspiring astrophysicist. Sebastian is an over achieving, science prodigy whose main goal in life is to have over 200 patented inventions. I think the audience will relate to these charismatic characters. And we can both entertain and make you think.”
“See You Yesterday is genre-blending and entertaining” adds Bailey. “But it also brings attention to the very real issue of police brutality. And it does it through the eyes of two young amazing black scientific geniuses – I’m excited to see such unique characters on screen.”
This is the first leading role for both Brooklyn natives Eden Duncan-Smith and Danté Crichlow. The film also stars rapper Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley (I Am the Night, Luce, Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk), Johnathan Nieves (Better Call Saul), Marsha S. Blake (Luce, Crown Heights, Orange is the New Black), Wavvy Jonez (Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., The Real), Myra Lucretia Taylor (The Big Sick, Changing Lanes), and Ron Bobb Semple. Executive Producers are Matthew Myers (Irreplaceable You) and Jason Sokoloff (She’s Gotta Have It).
See You Yesterday was filmed in Brooklyn and The Bronx, New York and will be released globally by Netflix in 2019.