Last year, Showtime greenlit the release of a comedy spin-off series based on the 1999 classic film The Wood. Now, its main cast has been revealed.
According to Variety, rapper Vince Staples, actors Xavier Mills, Karen Obilom, Melvin Gregg, and Essence Renae will all star in the pilot, which was ordered back in August 2021 by Showtime. With original characters Richard T. Jones and Tamala Jones set to reprise their roles as Slim and Tanya from the movie, fans are sure to be in for a nostalgic treat.
The original 1999 coming-of-age comedy starred Omar Epps as Mike, Taye Diggs as Roland, and Richard T. Jones as Slim as they navigate young adulthood in “The Wood”— the nickname the three teenage boys and best friends called their Inglewood, Calif. neighborhood.
Directed by the original film’s Rick Famuyiwa, this time around the series will take an honest look at friendship and dating from the perspective of the three young Black males born and raised in the gentrifying L.A. suburb of Inglewood,” sources say. “The trio’s struggles to balance fatherhood, ambition and loyalty force them to question if they are growing apart, or closer together.”
Check out the character breakdowns below:
Staples, who also played in “Dope,” will star as Jamal, an aspiring photographer from Ladera Heights, who has been cut off by his upper-class family when he decided to follow his own path instead of going to historic Morehouse College. Mills stars as Dame, a sheep in wolves’ clothing who is educated and ambitious but frustrated by his lot in life. He’s guarded and emotionally unavailable to everyone except for his high school sweetheart Brielle.
Obilom, from BET’s Games People Play, will play Brielle–a confident, polished engineer with big dreams of surpassing her humble beginnings. Gregg, who’s known for his role in “Snow Fall,” will play Shawn, a Pokémon card reseller weighing the pros and cons of staying loyal to his friends or growing up, settling down and trying to make his relationship work with Ashley.
Lastly, Renae plays Ashley– the mother of Shawn’s daughter and an aspiring fashion designer who is impervious to his charms and has clear rules and expectations for him as a man and father.
Justin Hillian served as the script writer for The Wood pilot and also executively produced alongside Famuyiwa. The pilot is reportedly in production in Inglewood.