Based on a novel that spent months on the best seller list, and an author that previously won a Pulitzer Prize (Isabel Wilkerson), the Caste adaptation has high standards it’s going to be expected to live up to. With influential voices like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey touting it as one of 2020’s best books, it’s not surprising that Netflix quickly snapped up the rights to bring it to screen.
The film focuses on the author’s journey of writing the book as opposed to a direct adaptation.
This Caste adaptation joins a growing number of projects based on non-fiction books being brought to life on streaming services.
Don’t forget to check out the masterlist of all the EWKSF adaptation posts here on Alison in Libraryland!
This page was updated: 11/5/23
About The Book:
“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
bookshop.org // Amazon // Audiobook
Current Production Status:
Completed and waiting for release at the end of 2023.
Caste Adaptation Timeline:
The book was first released in August 2020 to critical acclaim.
A few months later in October it was announced that Netflix would be producing a Caste adaptation with Ava DuVernay attached to write and direct the film.
In early 2023 it was announced that Aunjanue Ellis had been cast in the lead role and that filming was ongoing.
Shortly after more cast was announced and the project moved into post-production in early 2023.
In July it was announced that the film would be names ‘Origin’ and would premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in September.
Shortly before it’s film festival debut it was announced that NEON had picked up the film with plans to release it by the end of the year for Awards consideration.
A few weeks later an offical release schedule was set with a limited release on December 8th in New York and Los Angeles to make it eligible for awards season, and then a limited release in select cities on January 19th, 2024.
Who Owns The Rights:
ARRAY Filmworks (Ava DuVernay’s production company) was the lead producer on the project with NEON handling distribution.
Who Is Attached:
Aunjanue Ellis is starring in the lead role.
The supporting cast is extensive with Nick Offerman, Connie Nielsen, Blair Underwood, Audra McDonald, Jon Bernthal, Victoria Pedretti, Vera Farmiga, and Jasmine Cephas Jones.
Principal photography occurred in various locations around Savannah, Georgia.
Filming also occurred in India and Berlin, Germany.
The movie is scheduled for limited release December 8th, 2023, with more theaters added January 19th, 2024.
Previous mentions on AiLL:
This book has not been mentioned before on Alison in Libraryland!
Other Adaptations From This Author:
‘The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration’ had it’s rights optioned by Shondaland, Shonda Rhimes production company, in 2015 but there have been no updates on the project.
Make sure you sign up for the The Adaptation Watch newsletter, sent out every Saturday morning with all of the latest news on any & all adaptations. Don’t worry about missing an update when it’s coming straight to your inbox!
Caste Adaptation (Origin): Everything We Know So Far About The Intriguing New Netflix Movie
Hi there! I’m Alison in Libraryland, and I’ll be here for all your book related needs. Many of you know me as the girl with the book recommendations. Don’t be shy! Ask me! If you’re looking for a good book or movie adaptation, let me help you find it. I’ll be here for all your literary needs. This is a book blog run on an obsession for shiny new books, worn-through old classics, and all attempts at moving those stories to the screen, just like this Caste adaptation.