If the name Joe Robert Cole is familiar, you’re more than likely aware of his co-writing Marvel’s Black Panther with Ryan Coogler. It’s tough to compete with success on that scale, so Cole will instead try something different. He’ll make his directorial debut for Netflix with All Day and a Night, a crime drama led by Moonlight breakout Ashton Sanders and Jeffrey Wright in a role unlike anything we’ve seen from him in years.
Directed and written by Cole, the story centers on a young man who hopes to keep his dreams alive, but is constantly pulled into the world of criminality that got his father locked away in prison. The film also stars Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Regina Taylor, Isaiah John, Kelly Jenrette, and Shakira Ja’Nai Paye.
We’ve grown so accustomed to Wright in the fatherly mentor role that seeing him as a stone cold gangsta is a bit jarring. He hasn’t played a part like this in a long time, the closest being the HBO film O.G. back in 2018. This looks good, if somewhat conventional, but I expect Cole and this cast to deliver.
All Day and a Night hits Netflix on May 1st.
SYNOPSIS: As soft-spoken Jahkor Abraham Lincoln (Ashton Sanders, Moonlight) struggles to keep his dream of rapping alive amidst a gang war in Oakland, his ill-fated life and real-world responsibilities drive him further and further across the line of right and wrong with tragic consequences. Landing in prison beside his father, J.D. (Jeffrey Wright, Westworld) whom he never wanted to be like, Jahkor embarks on an unlikely journey of self-discovery, exploring the events that unite them, in hopes of helping his newborn son break a cycle that feels unavoidable. A powerful film from Black Panther co-writer Joe Robert Cole, ALL DAY AND A NIGHT is produced by Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson (The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), and Jared Ian Goldman (Ingrid Goes West).