Boots Riley to Follow Up ‘Sorry to Bother You’ with TV Show Starring Jharrel Jerome

     June 22, 2020


I love Sorry to Bother You with all my heart. Directed by the multitalented Boots Riley (listen to his music with The Coup, please!), the absurdist satire throws Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson on a journey directly into the devilish heart of capitalism, racism, and the performative whiteness and Blackness Black folks must switch between to survive in our world. When I left the theater, I felt like my brains had been scrambled and like my body had been teleported. I’ll see anything the guy makes. And his next televisual project, just recently announced, sounds like it’ll hit all the buttons I want.


Image via Netflix

I’m a Virgo is a TV show Riley is developing about, in his own inimitable words, “a 13-ft tall Black man who lives in Oakland.” Immediately, I am interested, and all the magical realistic/darkly absurdist satirical points made by such a big swing (emphasis on “big”; he’s 13 feet tall!) come spiralling out at me (and feels like a spiritual sequel to the “horse twist” that happens in Sorry to Bother You). Playing this 13-ft tall Black man? Jharrel Jerome, who delivered a powerful performance in Ava DuVernay‘s When They See Us, alongside sterling work in Moonlight and Selah and the Spades. Riley working with Jerome represents two creative talents joining forces in a truly powerful fashion, and I cannot wait for the end product.

Riley, producing the project with Michael Ellenberg‘s Media Res production company (The Morning Show), has not “decided on the network/streamer,” and may I say to any networks/streamers reading: Buy this show ASAP. Check out Riley’s tweet announcing I’m a Virgo below. For more on the filmmaker, here’s our interview with the man.