Daveed Diggs is returning to his hometown for a buddy film that puts Oakland’s rapid gentrification front-and-center.
The film, titled Blindspotting, features top billing from the Hamilton star, and poet and rapper Rafael Casal. The duo will play two movers bearing witness to the rise of gentrification in “The Town.” Casal and Diggs not only star in the film — their first lead roles in feature-length film — but they also share writing credits for the movie.
Blindspotting draws loosely upon Diggs’ and Casal’s experiences as Bay Area residents, both having grown up in Oakland and attended Berkeley High School. Casal and Diggs are longtime creative collaborators, working on everything from a mixtape appropriately titled The Bay Boy to a literature and rap-influenced musical theater workshop together.
It will remain a Bay Area affair: The Blindspotting cast and crew have been spotted filming in Oakland and Richmond. (This writer plays an extra in the film.)
Blindspotting will be directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, a short-form filmmaker who has previously directed music videos for Diggs’ rap group clipping. Also starring in the film are the likes of Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect), Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park) and Tisha Campbell-Martin (Dr. Ken).
The film is slated for release sometime in 2018.