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Theatrical release poster
Directed byCarlos López Estrada
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyRobby Baumgartner
Edited byGabriel Fleming
Music byMichael Yezerski
Snoot Entertainment
Distributed byLionsgate (under Summit Entertainment and Codeblack Films)
Release dates
  • January 18, 2018 (2018-01-18) (Sundance)
  • July 20, 2018 (2018-07-20) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$5 million[1]

Blindspotting is a 2018 American comedy-drama film written and produced by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal.[2]The film is directed by Carlos López Estrada (in his feature directorial debut), and Diggs and Casal star alongside Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Ethan Embry, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Wayne Knight. The plot follows a parolee with three days left on his sentence, only to have him witness a police shooting that threatens to ruin a lifelong friendship.[3]

Diggs and Casal, childhood friends in real life, wrote the screenplay in the mid-2000s, initially to speak for the city of Oakland, which they felt was often misrepresented in film. After years of delays, the pair's schedules finally allowed them to make the film, with principal photography beginning in June 2017.

Blindspotting had its world premiere on January 18, 2018 in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States on July 20, 2018, by Lionsgate.[4] The film received positive reviews from critics, and at the 34th Independent Spirit Awards, was nominated for Best Male Lead for Diggs' performance, while López Estrada earned a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film.[5]

A spin-off sequel television series of same name, created and executive produced by Diggs and Casal and run by Casal, premiered in 2021. It focuses on Jones' character, Ashley, with Casal also part of the main cast and Diggs appearing as guest.


Collin Hoskins, an African-American convicted felon, is struggling to finish the last three days of his probation. Collin, along with his short-tempered white best friend, Miles Turner, works for a moving company located in Oakland, California. One night while waiting for a red light, Collin witnesses a white police officer fatally shoot a fleeing black man. As Collin is haunted by the incident, he begins to have nightmares and experiences hallucinations.

At the same time, Miles becomes distraught by the gentrification of Oakland and a resulting sense of loss of identity, home, and belonging. Miles purchases a handgun from a friend on the basis of self-protection, an action of which Collin strongly disapproves. Collin tries to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend Val; there is an awkward distance between them despite their feelings for each other. A witness recounts the fight which led to Collin's incarceration: Collin was working door at a local club when a drunk white customer stepped outside to show off a flaming drink. Collin informed him that this violated state liquor laws but the man verbally abused and shoved Collin, starting a fight which ended with the man beaten and set aflame; Val witnessed the end of this shocking scene.

As Miles continues to display erratic behavior, Val warns Collin of the dangers that may result from a continued friendship with Miles. On Collin's last evening of probation, Miles's young son Sean finds the gun and Collin narrowly averts a tragic accident. Horrified, Sean's mother Ashley forces Miles and Collin to take the gun and leave.

Miles and Collin go to a party at an upscale new house owned by an enthusiastic newcomer to Oakland. The "shoot a hipster" T-shirt that Sean gave Miles is misinterpreted as being an ironic self-effacing statement, and the only other African-American man at the party takes issue with Miles's persona, misinterpreting it as cultural appropriation. They get into a physical fight and Miles takes out his frustrations, beating the man. Ordered to leave, Miles terrorizes the host and his guests by firing his gun into the air while proclaiming his authenticity to the neighborhood.

Collin rushes Miles away before the police arrive and takes his gun. In an explosive argument, Collin criticizes Miles for his reckless behavior and the trouble it keeps causing him. Miles returns home and reconciles with Ashley while she treats his injuries, and he realizes that he doesn't face the same struggles as his loved ones. Collin phones Val and, referencing the face–vase illusion from her college studies, asks if she has a blind spot with him and whether she can see past her recollection of the fight.

With his probation completed, Collin continues to feel psychologically troubled by the police shooting he witnessed. As he and Miles are finishing a moving job, the house is revealed to be that of Officer Molina, the same police officer whom Collin witnessed killing a man days earlier. Collin holds the officer at gunpoint, and Miles watches as Collin launches into a freestyle rap, criticizing the relationship between the police and African Americans, as well as the gentrification in Oakland. He breaks some of the officer's property, but does not shoot the gun, leaving the distraught officer behind. Following a moment of solemnity, Collin and Miles repair their friendship as they drive to their next job.




The screenplay for Blindspotting was written by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal over a period of nine years. Diggs, who grew up in Oakland, and Casal, who grew up in bordering Berkeley, California, felt that cinematic portrayals of the San Francisco Bay Area have constantly "missed something". They wanted to draw attention to the culture, community, and sense of "heightened reality" that shape life in Oakland. The film addresses issues of gentrification, police violence, and racism.[6]


The film's score was composed by Michael Yezerski, and the soundtrack includes dozens of licensed songs from Bay Area artists. To Diggs and Casal, it was important that the music used in the film be from the city. According to Diggs, "The sound of the city was as important as anything else. For us, maybe even more important because we have real input. We can make a music choice that we thought will add to the humanity of everything." Diggs and Casal even picked musicians from the area to perform on the score to find a sound that was specific to Oakland. Musicians, including drummer John Mader from Oakland (who also played drums for the Broadway musical Hamilton, starring Diggs), The Regiment Horns from Berkeley, and bassist Josh Hari from Oakland performed on the score.[7]

Blindspotting additionally features several rap performances by Diggs and Casal. The freestyle at the film's climax was entirely written by Casal, and the word choice remained mostly unchanged for years.[8]


Principal photography finally began in June 2017 and lasted for 22 days, filming around Oakland.[9]


In lieu of a soundtrack album, two EPs were released. The Collin EP and The Miles EP are meant to represent both characters' perspectives, with Casal saying "It really felt like a way for people to drop into the music environment of the film. ... The spirit of each project is driven by being in the head or environment of the character." The Collin EP is described as being "little more cerebral, it’s if Collin were to think out loud," while The Miles EP is "trappier, 808 kind of music that the Bay Area is also known for that I imagine is what Miles drives around listening to. I imagine he's a little stoned, it’s a little angrier, a little grittier." Much of the material on the EPs were not included in the film. Several of the tracks include features by notable Bay Area artists, including Too $hort and T-Pain, and much of Diggs' and Casals' lyrics come from spoken word pieces they have performed in the past.[7]

The opening tracks on both EPs, "Commander Smiley" and "Commander Miles," were recorded for the film, but were ultimately cut. The only original tracks featured in the film are "In My City," "Running to the Sky," and "Not a Game," with the rest being exclusive to the soundtrack EPs. The several rap performances by Diggs and Casal featured in the movie are not included on the EPs.

A third project, The Town EP, had a planned August 10 release date (along with the original release date of The Miles EP), and was described as being "more anthemic in trying to represent a little more sense of the timeless sense of the town."[7] The project was never released, however.

The track "Time & Distance" on The Miles EP was removed after release because of licensing issues.[10]

Blindspotting: The Collin EP
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJuly 13, 2018 (2018-07-13)
GenreHip hop
LabelRepublic Records
Singles from Blindspotting: The Collin EP
  1. "Easy Come, Easy Go"
    Released: July 30, 2018
Blindspotting: The Collin EP track listing
1."Commander Smiley" (featuring Rafael Casal)
  • Rafael Casal
  • Daveed Diggs
2."Easy Come, Easy Go" (Performed by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal)
  • Casal
  • Diggs
3."In My City" (featuring Mistah F.A.B. and Rafael Casal)
  • Jessie I. James
  • David Stokes
  • Matthew Furdge
4."Chopped" (featuring Rafael Casal)
  • Casal
  • Diggs
5."Running to the Sky" (featuring Moe Green and Kiana Ledé)
  • Gregory Carter
  • Diggs
  • Kiana Ledé
  • Romika Faniel
  • James
  • Stokes
  • Samuel Kent Waldo
6."Not a Game" (featuring E-40, Rafael Casal, and Moe Green)
  • James
  • Stokes
  • Furdge
7."Stories for Freedom" (Performed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph)Marc Bamuthi JosephMarc Bamuthi Joseph1:00
8."Something in the Water" (featuring Emmy Raver-Lampman)Diggs
  • James
  • Stokes
  • Jeffrey Baranowski
Total length:24:43
Blindspotting: The Miles EP
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedNovember 23, 2018 (2018-11-23)
GenreHip hop
LabelRepublic Records
Blindspotting: The Miles EP track listing
1."Commander Miles" (featuring Daveed Diggs)
  • Rafael Casal
  • Daveed Diggs
2."Dope" (featuring Daveed Diggs and Too $hort)
  • Jessie I. James
  • David Stokes
3."Thug Tho" (featuring Daveed Diggs)
  • Casal
  • Diggs
  • James
  • Stokes
  • Casal
4."Drippin" (featuring Daveed Diggs and SOB x RBE)
  • Casal
  • Diggs
  • Ruwanga Samath
  • Jabbar Kingston Brown Jr.
  • Juwon Lee
  • Wayman Barrow
  • George Harris III
Ruwanga Samath3:39
5."Regulators" (featuring Daveed Diggs and T-Pain)
  • James
  • Stoke
6."Time & Distance" (featuring Samaria)
  • Casal
  • Samaria Boykin
7."Fresh Squeeze" (featuring Avereaux, DSEP, and P-Lo)
  • Avereaux
  • DSEP
8."Goals" (featuring Clyde Carson and Daveed Diggs)
  • Clyde Carson
  • Casal
  • Diggs
9."Soul Takers (2012)" (featuring Daveed Diggs)
  • Casal
  • Diggs
Total length:26:52


  • "Time & Distance" was removed from the album after its release.[10]


Blindspotting premiered at Sundance Film Festival on January 18, 2018. A few days later, Lionsgate, under its Codeblack Films and Summit Entertainment banners, acquired worldwide distribution rights to the film, beating bidders including CBS Films, Neon, MoviePass and The Orchard, the latter of which nearly acquired the film before Lionsgate raised their bid.[11] The film was given a limited theatrical release in the United States on July 20, 2018, followed by a wide release date a week later.[12]


Box office[edit]

Blindspotting grossed $332,500 in its opening weekend from 14 locations, including in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Oakland, for a $23,750 average per theater.[13] It expanded to 513 theaters in its second weekend and made $1.3 million.[14]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 94% based on 176 reviews, and an average rating of 8.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "As timely as it is overall impactful, Blindspotting blends buddy comedy with seething social commentary, and rises on the strength of Daveed Diggs' powerful performance."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 77 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[16]

Former United States President Barack Obama named Blindspotting among his favorite films of 2018, in his annual list of favorite films.[17]

Television adaptation[edit]

In September 2020, Starz ordered a TV spinoff of Blindspotting, with Jasmine Cephas Jones set to reprise her role as Ashley. Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal act as writers and executive producers on the series, with Casal to serve as showrunner. The pair each also reprise their roles in the premiere episode. The series will focus on Ashley's point of view when Miles is imprisoned.[18] Production began in December 2020.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Blindspotting (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Debruge, Peter (January 3, 2018). "10 Directors to Watch: Carlos López Estrada Opens Eyes With Sundance-Bound 'Blindspotting'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Harris, Aisha (July 20, 2018). "Fictional Police Brutality, Real Emotional Toll". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Debruge, Peter (November 29, 2017). "Sundance Film Festival Unveils Full 2018 Features Lineup". Variety. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  5. ^ Erbland, Kate (November 16, 2018). "2019 Independent Spirit Awards Nominees, 'Eighth Grade' & 'We the Animals' Lead". IndieWire. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Sundance 2018: Blindspotting cast talk about their love of Oakland (Video). Los Angeles Times. January 19, 2018. Retrieved May 2, 2018 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ a b c Newman, Melinda (July 30, 2018). "Blindspotting's' Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal on Finding the Movie's Authentic Bay Area Sound". Billboard.
  8. ^ Diggs, Daveed; Casal, Rafael (2018). Blindspotting (audio commentary). Carlos López Estrada. Lionsgate.
  9. ^ Brooks, Brian (July 19, 2018). "Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal Go 'Blindspotting'; Bleecker Street Opens 'McQueen' – Specialty B.O. Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Diggs, Daveed [@DaveedDiggs] (December 3, 2018). "FYI. We thought partnering with a label would make these things easier. We were wrong. We love that song too. Hopefully it will come back on Samaria's project after issues have been worked out. But please believe we have more slaps cooking with her. #StayTuned" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Lang, Brent; Setoodeh, Ramin (January 24, 2018). "Sundance: Lionsgate Buys 'Blindspotting' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2024.
  12. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 19, 2018). "Lionsgate's Sundance Pickup 'Blindspotting' Moves Up Into July – Watch The Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 22, 2018). "Shocker: 'Mamma Mia 2' Meets B.O. Waterloo As 'Equalizer 2' Is The No. 1 Winner That Takes It All With $35M+". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 29, 2018). "'Mission' Accomplished: 'Fallout' $61M+ Opening Reps Record For Tom Cruise Franchise – Sunday". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  15. ^ "Blindspotting (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "Blindspotting Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  17. ^ Sharf, Zack (December 28, 2018). "Barack Obama's Favorite Movies of 2018 List Is Here, and It's Pretty Damn Amazing". Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  18. ^ White, Peter (September 10, 2020). "'Blindspotting': TV Spin-Off Of Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs Feature Goes To Series At Starz". Deadline. Archived from the original on September 10, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  19. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 1, 2020). "'Blindspotting' Series at Starz Casts Key Roles as Production Begins (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2020.

External links[edit]