The acclaimed drama about Philadelphia’s urban cowboy community will premiere April 2 on Netflix.
Idris Elba is going to take his horse to the old Philadelphia neighborhood and ride — well, like a Concrete Cowboy, in the streetwise drama premiering April 2 on Netflix.
Co-starring Caleb McLaughlin (of Netflix’s Stranger Things), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight, When They See Us), Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black, Rosewood), and rapper-actor Clifford “Method Man” Smith (How High, Garden State), Concrete Cowboy was inspired by the novel Ghetto Cowboy by G. Neri, directed and co-written by first time feature filmmaker Ricky Staub, and based on the history and traditions of the Fletcher Street Stables, a real-life Black urban horsemanship community that, for more than a century, has provided a safe haven for neighborhood residents.
According to the official Netflix plot synopsis: “When 15-year-old Cole (Caleb McLaughlin) is expelled from school in Detroit, he is sent to North Philadelphia to live with Harp (Idris Elba), his estranged father. Harp finds solace in rehabilitating horses for inner city cowboys at the Fletcher Street Stables.
“Torn between his growing respect for his father’s community and his reemerging friendship with troubled cousin Smush (Jharrel Jerome), Cole begins to reprioritize his life as the stables themselves are threatened by encroaching gentrification.”
When Concrete Cowboy was presented last fall as an official selection at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival, critic Peter Debruge of Variety hailed it as one of those rare films “that take a very specific subculture and turn it into something universal and uplifting — only this one isn’t a documentary, despite the many real-world details that bring director Ricky Staub’s exceptional father-son drama to life (among them, supporting roles for several genuine Fletcher Street cowboys and a range of North Philly locations that include the historic stables). Featuring an unforgettable performance from Idris Elba as Cole’s grizzled but caring father, Harp, this remarkable feature debut is all about giving at-risk young people a future. That the solution might come in an endangered century-old tradition far removed from most people’s radar makes it all the more impactful.”