The entertainment news outlet reports that the streaming network acquired series rights for the National Book Award winner earlier this year. The rights came via a deal with the Ralph and Fanny Ellison Charitable Trust. Scholar John Callahan, the executor of Ellison’s literary archives, will executive produce. The series currently has no attached screenwriters, directors or actors.
According to a 2012 piece in The New Yorker, Ellison drew on his disillusioning experiences in the American Communist Party when writing “Invisible Man.” Its title refers to its nameless narrator, an African-American man rendered invisible by a racist society. The plot follows the protagonist through fraught encounters with his historically Black college’s White trustees, manipulative activist organizations, abusive police and exploitative employers—all of which add to his biting cynicism. The Library of Congress’ bio on Ellison says that the novel became an instant bestseller and critical success, influencing successive generations of American writers and making Ellison an in-demand university lecturer. Ellison died in 1994.