Aunjanue Ellis is to star in the film adaptation of 'Caste'.
The 53-year-old actress has been cast in the lead role in the movie that is inspired by Isabel Wilkerson's best-selling book 'Caste: Origins of Our Discontent'.
The tome was described in The New York Times newspaper as "an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote non-fiction book of the American century thus far" following its publication in 2020.
The book, and subsequently the film that is written and directed by Ana DuVernay, examines the system of hierarchy that has shaped the United States.
DuVernay is also producing the project alongside frequent collaborator ARRAY Filmworks' Paul Garnes. Production began in Georgia last month with additional filming due to take place in Germany and India.
Ellis was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the film 'King Richard' – in which she starred as Venus and Serena Williams' mother Oracene Price.
She is also due to star in the new adaptation of 'The Color Purple' and the period drama 'The Nickel Boys'.
The actress revealed that she had "very little" knowledge of the Williams family before appearing in 'King Richard', which starred Will Smith in the lead role as Richard Williams and told the story of how he made his daughters into tennis greats.
Aunjanue said: "What I knew of them was what anybody would know about them, just from what's in the media and what's in the press.
"I had a very superficial knowledge of who they were, but I saw this famous interview that they did on '60 Minutes' when they were still young girls, and I will never forget that.
"I just remember the feeling of promise that I had watching that. I just felt so excited about who these young girls would become."