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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ actor John Boyega to join a different kind of conflict with latest casting

john boyega detroit riots movie comic con 2015
Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Roles just keep rolling in for Star Wars’ John Boyega. The Force Awakens star is set to enter another fray, but this time, the story’s conflict will be based on actual events. Boyega has been cast in an as-yet untitled true crime film about the 1967 Detriot riots, reports Variety.

The project comes from screenwriter Mark Boal and is directed by Kathryn Bigelow, a duo that previously collaborated — to Academy Award success — on The Hurt Locker. More recently, they worked together on 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, a film that went on to receive five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Joining forces with Bigelow and Boal seems like a smart move for Boyega, one that could potentially mean awards season recognition.

At this point, no information has been revealed regarding Boyega’s character, and few specifics are known about the plot. We do know, however, that the riots will serve as the backdrop for the crime story. The riots, which took place in July 1967, were among the deadliest in U.S. history. The event was further marked by violence, property destruction, and clashes between police and civilians.

With the 50th anniversary of the riots coming up in 2017, the film is expected to be released that year. No studio is currently attached. The project is being financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, and she is producing alongside Bigelow, Boal, Matthew Budman, and Colin Wilson. Meanwhile, Greg Shapiro will executive produce.

The film joins Boyega’s list of upcoming work, which also includes the Pacfic Rim sequel; The Circle, with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks; and an animated miniseries adaptation of the novel Watership Down. Not surprisingly, the actor has been keeping busy since starring in the box office giant The Force Awakens. Should the Detroit riots film turn out as well as it seems it could, his calendar will likely only get fuller.

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