Tag Archives: John Boyega

Ngesi, Tunzi join cast of The Woman King

Sivuyile Ngesi and Zozibini Tunzi

South African actor Sivuyile Ngesi and model Zozibini Tunzi have joined the cast of epic historical movie drama The Woman King.

The film was inspired by events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa, in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Ngesi and Tunzi will star alongside US actress and Oscar winner Viola Davis (The Help) and British-Nigerian actor John Boyega (Star Wars, Small Axe). Other cast members include Lupita Nyong’o, Lashana Lynch and Adrienne Warren.

Ngesi took to Instagram to say: “Can’t wait for you all to see this magic,” while Tunzi said: “I am so honored and excited to announce that I have been cast for the film, The Woman King. It is a completely new world and first-time experience for me, so I enter it with the utmost respect and humility. Forever grateful and looking forward.”

The Woman King was written by Dana Stevens and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and is scheduled to be released theatrically by Sony Pictures in September, 2022. Its production companies include TriStar Pictures, Welle Entertainment, JuVee Productions, Jack Blue Productions and Entertainment One.

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John Boyega to star in The Woman King

British-Nigerian actor John Boyega (The Force Awakens, Small Axe) is set to star in historical drama The Woman King, which is being produced by Sony-owned US studio TriStar Pictures.

John Boyega

The Woman King is a historical epic inspired by true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states in West Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries.

It follows the story of the general of Dahomey’s all-female military unit and an ambitious young recruit, who together fought enemies that violated their honour, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they had lived for.

Boyega will star as King Ghezo alongside American actress and Oscar winner Viola Davis (The Help) and South African actor Thuso Mbedu (Scandal). Other cast members include Lupita Nyong’o and Lashana Lynch.

The movie is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard), the original screenplay was written by Dana Stevens and it is being produced by Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.

“I will be joining this incredible cast as King Ghezo. I can’t wait to create with our director Gina Prince-Bythewood and our talented cast. It’s a personal joy to see black women shine like this,” Boyega wrote on Instagram.

Prince-Bythewood took to Instagram saying: “I have been enamoured by John’s immense talent for years, but his speech to black women during the protests cemented my desire to work with him. The description of King Ghezo reads, ‘He walks as if the Earth were honoured by its burden.’ John possesses that innate depth and swagger and I’m so excited to put it on screen.”

The release date of the movie is yet to be announced.

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John Boyega to Attack the Block again

British-Nigerian actor John Boyega is set to star in and produce the sequel to cult 2011 sci-fi movie Attack the Block, in which he made his screen debut.

John Boyega

Directed by Joe Cornish, Attack the Block centres on a teenage street gang who have to defend themselves from predatory alien invaders. Cornish will also return to write and direct the sequel.

Star Wars actor Boyega played thug-turned-hero Moses in the original film. He announced his involvement on Instagram, writing: “Yes Attack the Block 2 is happening! Yes, I’ll be starring and producing! Yes, I’m bloody excited! London VS them tings.”

In a statement, he added: “It’s been a decade since Attack the Block was released and so much has changed since then. I’m excited to see this heightened story return to the streets of London. Moses has remained one of my favourite characters to play, and bringing him back is a huge honour.”

Attack the Block’s original cast also included Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and Shaun of the Dead’s Nick Frost. Boyega, Cornish and James Wilson will produce the sequel, the production date of which has yet to be revealed.

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John Boyega wins Golden Globe

John Boyega as Leroy Logan in Small Axe film Red, White & Blue

Nigerian-British actor John Boyega has won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series for his performance in Small Axe film Red, White & Blue.

Boyega was honoured for playing real-life police officer and anti-racism reformer Leroy Logan, who attempted to change London’s Metropolitan Police from within after seeing his father assaulted by two officers.

Red, White & Blue is one of five films that make up Steve McQueen’s BBC/Amazon anthology series Small Axe, a Turbine Studios and Lammas Park production.

After the win, Boyega wrote on Instagram: “All I can say is THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

The Golden Globe ceremony was  held virtually on March 1.

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VIS Kids partners with Boyega

The fledgling children’s division of ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) has struck partnerships with prodcos including British-Nigerian actor and producer John Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions.

John Boyega

VIS Kids, which launched towards the end of 2020, develops and produces content for Nickelodeon and other ViacomCBS-owned brands in addition to third-party buyers and partners.

It has plans to develop more than 30 new shows over the next three years and has partnered with various creators and talent across live-action, animation and young adults in regions such as the UK, Israel, Asia and Latin America to grow its pipeline.

In animation, VIS Kids has agreed a first-look deal with Star Wars star Boyega’s UpperRoom, which will present three to five projects to the studio for consideration to develop into longform series.

VIS Kids has also agreed a first-look animation deal with Fred Seibert (The Fairy OddParents, Adventure Time), founder and CEO of FredFilms, who will present at least three projects to the studio with the goal of at least one being put into development.

VIS Kids is also working with the UK’s Wildseed Studios, Tom Gran and Martin Woolley on a female-led adventure comedy, as well as a mixed-media comedy show by Joel Mackenzie (The Becky & Bagel Show) of Wildseed Studios.

“In launching VIS Kids, we saw a great demand in the industry for creator-driven, high-quality and platform-agnostic kids and family content across a wide genre – from preschool to animation to live-action. We’re excited to align with amazing creatives across the globe as we continue to establish VIS Kids as a leader in the world of kids’ and family content, while fuelling ViacomCBS’s global content pipeline,” said Nina Hahn, head of VIS Kids.

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Boyega to star in Netflix crime movie

Nigerian-British Star Wars actor John Boyega is to star in Netflix’s original film The Formula alongside screen icon Robert De Niro.

John Boyega

Written, directed and produced by Gerard McMurray (The First Purge, Burning Sands), the movie follows the story of a Formula 1 racing prodigy, played by Boyega, who is forced to become a getaway driver to save the only family he has left. He becomes an international racing star in the world of Formula 1 under the tutelage of his mentor with old mob ties.

The movie will be executive produced by Jason Michael while Sam Shaw and Buppie Productions’ Ephraim Walker serve as coproducers and Jane Rosenthal, De Niro and Berry Welsh as producers.

McMurray set up Buppie to develop and produce entertaining stories featuring black characters for a mainstream film and television audience.

The exec said on Instagram: “Feels amazing to see this idea in my head finally come to life that I’m writing, directing, and producing. My new production company, Buppie Productions, is teaming up with Tribeca Films and Netflix to bring to you a dope original film coming soon called The Formula starring two of my favourite actors: John Boyega and Robert De Niro.”

Boyega recently starred in Red, White & Blue, a film from the anthology series Small Axe directed by Steve McQueen. He previously starred in the Star Wars franchise and Detroit and is currently in production on They Cloned Tyrone with Jamie Foxx.

The release date for The Formula is yet to be announced.

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Boyega looks beyond Star Wars franchise

John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars

Bafta-winning British-Nigerian actor John Boyega has revealed that he has no intention of returning to the character he has portrayed in three recent Star Wars movies.

The 28-year-old London-based star played Finn in the Star Wars trilogy comprising The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

However, responding to fans on Instagram asking if he would step into Finn’s shoes again, Boyega wrote: “Lol no thank you. I’ve moved on. Nope. Not into playing one role for too long. I have more to offer than that. That’s all. Isn’t that what people do when a role is done? Or… it’s not that deep.”

Boyega, who is now set to play a role in Netflix’s upcoming live-action series Avatar: The Last Airbender, also spoke on Twitter about expanding that  franchise into Africa, writing: “When you lot are ready to have the benders in Africa explored let me know!”

Meanwhile, British actor and producer Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther) has tipped Boyega to become the next James Bond. He said: “The way spies are being viewed right now, I think they could afford to be younger and a bit more current. If they’re going to go with someone of colour, John would be the man.”

As well as the Stars Wars trilogy, Boyega has appeared in sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block (2011), drama film Imperial Dreams (2014), historical drama Detroit (2017), sci-fi movie Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) and four episodes of TV series 24: Live Another Day.

Boyega’s production outfit, UpperRoom, recently teamed up with Netflix to develop non-English-language films drawn from Africa, as reported by Content Nigeria. He is also set to star in BBC/Amazon drama Small Axe (6×60’), from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen.

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Netflix, Boyega to develop African stories

Star Wars’ John Boyega formed prodco UpperRoom

Star Wars actor John Boyega’s production outfit UpperRoom has teamed up with Netflix to develop non-English-language films drawn from Africa.

UpperRoom will develop film projects based on stories, cast, characters, crew, literary properties, mythology, screenplays and/or other elements from African countries, with a focus on West and East Africa.

“Africa has a rich history in storytelling and for Netflix, this partnership with John and UpperRoom presents an opportunity to further our investment in the continent while bringing unique African stories to our members both in Africa and around the world,” said David Kosse, VP of international film at Netflix.

UpperRoom, the independent TV and film production company founded by the British-Nigerian actor in 2016, was set up to facilitate his debut as a producer on hit film Pacific Rim: Uprising, which he coproduced with Legendary Entertainment and was distributed via Universal.

Since then, UpperRoom has been developing a slate of projects including some unscripted content, with its day-to-day operations overseen by Yara Shaikh, VP of productions.

Netflix recently signalled its intention to increase its investment in Africa with the production of its first original scripted series from Nigeria, the yet-to-be-titled Akin Omotoso Project, as well as other African originals Blood & Water and Mama K’s Team 4, which will premiere later this year. Netflix’s first Africa Original, Queen Sono, debuted on February 28.

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Star Wars’ Boyega stars in BBC drama

British-Nigerian Star Wars actor John Boyega will star in Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen’s BBC1 drama Small Axe (6×60′) next year.

John Boyega

The UK public broadcaster’s show, which also stars Black Panther actor Letitia Wright, tells five different stories over six episodes set in London’s West Indian community between the 1960s and 80s.

The series is executive produced by Tracey Scoffield and David Tanner for Turbine Studios and McQueen for Lammas Park. Shooting began on location in London on June 24.

The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, and the executive producer for the BBC is Lucy Richer, senior commissioning editor for drama. BBC Studios is handling worldwide sales.

McQueen, who is also the show’s executive producer, said: “I felt these stories needed to be shared. I wanted to relive, re-evaluate and investigate the journeys that my parents and the first generation of West Indians went on to deliver me here today, calling myself a black British person. What’s important about our stories is that they are local but at the same time global.

“I think audiences will identify with the trials, tribulations and joy of our characters as well as reflecting on the present environment in which we find ourselves. The dynamic nature of the series allows us to confront injustice in the face of adversity.”

Boyega has appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the film adaptation of the hit novel A Naked Singularity, sci-fi romance Hold Back the Stars and also produced South African thriller God is Good. McQueen’s credits include Widows and Twelve Years A Slave.

Production is currently underway on location in London. Small Axe is newly formed production company Turbine Studios’ first project. The company was set up last year by producers Scoffield and Tanner alongside Andrew Eaton (The Crown, The Trip) and Justin Thomson (The Fall, Death Comes To Pemberley).

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