‘Passing’: Netflix Acquires Rebecca Hall’s Directorial Debut With Tessa Thompson & Ruth Negga

In conversations with colleagues about Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut, Passing, about two Black women in 1920s New York who can pass for white, we figured an acquisition by a steaming service was likely. And that is exactly what happened, as Netflix has officially picked up the film for release later this year.

In her first time behind the camera, Hall adapts the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen. Tessa Thompson stars as Irene, a family woman, and Ruth Negg as Clare, a high school friend who lives her life with a wild streak. Both are light-skinned and can pass as white, but have chosen to live on different sides of the color line, causing conflicts that threaten to tear them apart.

Passing was one of the best films I saw at Sundance this year, and I knew it would be picked up by someone who would appreciate the prestige quality of it. Netflix hasn’t set a release date, but considering the movie is finished, don’t expect to wait long.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.