Daveed Diggs to Star in Comedy About Oakland Gentrification

Daveed Diggs of 'Hamilton' performs onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards

Daveed Diggs of 'Hamilton' performs onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

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.

Daveed Diggs to Star in Comedy About Oakland Gentrification 20 September,2017Joshua Bote

  • Laur S

    I saw a quick clip about it. I feel bad for those feeling pushed out. It seems to be a recurring cycle in many cities. A few years ago a white lady in her 80s told me about how she felt pushed out of Oakland years ago after living there for many years. Now it seems younger generations are cycling back. The same with SF. Many attached to the city felt pushed out and a new generation seems to claim most of the city. The cost of living causes cities to go haywire?


Joshua Bote

Joshua Bote is an intern for KQED Arts. A senior at UC Berkeley, Joshua previously served as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s independently-run student newspaper. His work has been published in the East Bay Express.

He’s deeply enamored with Twitter culture, Carly Rae Jepsen, and love-oriented podcasts. He’s also  slowly learning to appreciate bad award shows. Follow him on Twitter @joshuaboat.

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