'Queen Sugar' Recruits Major Director for Series Finale

Director Ava DuVernay is returning to Queen Sugar for the long-running OWN show's series finale. The Selma director created the drama and is an executive producer. Queen Sugar's seventh and final season will debut later this year. The show is based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile.

DuVernay has been an executive producer for the show's entire run, but this will be the first time she has directed an episode since the first two in 2016, reports Variety. Since Season 1, she has been credited as a writer on multiple episodes, including the penultimate Season 6 episode. Production on the series finale is already underway in New Orleans.

OWN also announced the other directors for the final season. Showrunner Shaz Bennett will be behind the camera for one episode, while Kat Candler, Stacey Muhammad, Patricia Cardoso, Aurora Guerrero, and DeMane Davis are all returning to helm other episodes. Every episode of Queen Sugar was directed by women, including 39 directors who made their scripted television directing debut with their episode.

Queen Sugar centers on three siblings in Lousiana who put their differences aside to run a sugarcane farm after their father dies. Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lynn Gardner, and Kofi Siriboe play the lead siblings. Omar Dorsey, Timon Kyle Durrett, Greg Vaughan, Ethan Hutchison, Tina Lifford, Bianca Lawson, Henry G. Sanders, and Tammy Townsend also star. DuVernay, Anthony Sparks, Melissa Carter, and Oprah Winfrey are the executive producers. The show is produced by Winfrey's Harpo Films with Warner Horizon Television and Forward Movement. Queen Sugar is available to stream on Hulu.

DuVernay announced plans to end the show with Season 7 just before the Season 6 finale aired in November. "As a storyteller, the bravest thing to do is know when you're done," DuVernay told Deadline. "Queen Sugar being my first series where I've had to consider when I'm done, I've had to push myself to say do you have anything more to say that needs to be said with these characters? And I'm so proud of what we've done and I'm proud that I'm brave enough to walk away."

DuVernay earned an Oscar nomination for directing the Netflix documentary 13th, which looks at the U.S. prison system and how it is shaped by racial inequality. The documentary also earned DuVernay Emmys for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming and Outstanding Documentary. She also directed the Oscar-winning Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma and the acclaimed Netflix limited series When They See Us. She was developing the animated series Wings of Fire, based on the books by Tui T. Sutherland, but the project was among the cuts Netflix made this spring after the company saw a slowdown in subscriber growth.