Tag Archives: John Boyega

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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