This Is Us star Niles Fitch, who plays the teenage version of the character Randall Pearson on the series, is making Disney history with a role in the Disney+ science-fiction film Secret Society of Second-Born Royals. Niles is now Disney's first live-action black prince. He shared the news in an Instagram post.
"Welcome Disney's first Black prince," Niles said in the caption of the upload, which featured images from an article in Entertainment Weekly regarding the film.
In the movie, the actor will play Prince Tuma. The young royal's superhuman ability is astounding, but his self-centered nature requires a much-needed lesson in empathy.
Niles' co-stars in the project include Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Olivia Deeble, and Isabella Blake-Thomas. The original movie will make its debut on the streaming platform this summer.Secret Society of Second-Born Royals tells the story of Sam, a rebellious teen living in the kingdom of Illyria. She is second in line for the throne after her older sister, Princess Eleanor.
Being a second-born royal means that Sam has superpowers and finds herself grouped together with other young people who possess special gifts. Together they work to keep the world safe. The new class of royal recruits must first learn to harness their powers at a top-secret training camp before they can save the world, according to an official press release for the film.
This Disney+ original is unique for two distinct reasons. It is one of a few live-action films for Disney that have featured princes and princesses in the title roles. It is also the first that stars a young man of color portraying a royal character.
Disney did not feature a black princess as the lead character in an animated film until fans were introduced to Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog in 2009. Prior to that, the only animated women of color as main characters in Disney films were the eponymous Pocahontas and Mulan, plus Princess Jasmine from Aladdin.
In the comments section of Niles' post, his co-star Sterling K. Brown, who plays the adult version of Randall on This Is Us, shared his surprise at this exciting news. Sterling noted how shocked he was to learn that Niles was able to work on the Disney+ project along with the demanding schedule of filming their hit NBC series.
"When did you squeeze this in, Slim?! #Werk," joked Sterling to his young co-star.
"YOU gave me the blueprint," Fitch said in response to Brown's work ethic.This is not Niles' first time working with the Disney company. He previously portrayed young Simba in Disney's The Lion King for its 2011 North American Tour.