From his critically acclaimed role in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to taking a journey to Wonderland and Neverland in Come Away,  David Oyelowo has given us moving performances and always delivers in front of the camera, but with the forthcoming The Water Man, Emmy-nominated actor does double duty as an actor and as director.

In The Water Man, which opens in theaters on May 7 and will be distributed by Netflix internationally later this year, we follow Gunner (This Is Us star Lonnie Chavis) as he sets out on a quest to save his ill mother (Rosario Dawson) by searching for a mythic figure who possesses the secret to immortality: the titular Water Man.

He gets some help from a mysterious and no-nonsense girl, Jo (Amiah Miller) and they go on a journey into the remote Wild Horse forest. As their adventure unfolds, the forest becomes more and more bizarre — and more dangerous/ Their only hope for rescue is Gunner’s father (Oyelowo), who will stop at nothing to find them and in the process will discover who his son really is.

Written by Emma Needell, the film gives some throwback adventure fantasy vibes that are reminiscent of The Goonies. Oyelowo produced the film while Oprah Winfrey served as executive producer. Oyelowo stopped by Deadline’s New Hollywood Podcast to talk about sitting in the director’s chair for the first time and inclusivity in the fantasy genre. Listen to the episode below.

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